The Thiel Foundation's Breakout Labs Selects Three New Early-Stage Companies at the Forefront of Biological Technologies

The Thiel Foundation's Breakout Labs Selects Three New Early-Stage Companies at the Forefront of Biological Technologies

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Breakout Labs, a program of Peter Thiel's nonprofit foundation, announced today that three new companies have been selected for funding.

Lindy Fishburne, Executive Director of Breakout Labs, said "We are delighted to announce the selection of three new companies for Breakout Labs' nationwide program to support early-stage companies at the forefront of scientific innovation: Neumitra, Ion Dx, E3XBio. Each company embodies the values of our program: creative entrepreneurs building on bold, cutting-edge scientific insight to benefit society."

Wearable technologies are exploding in the physical fitness arena, but the C.E.O. of Breakout Labs' first Boston-based company, Neumitra (, Robert Goldberg, Ph.D., is passionate about their potential to improve brain health. Medical research has long linked excessive stress to a host of physical and mental health concerns. Neumitra is developing embedded biomodules and an associated bioinformatics platform to accurately measure and respond to physiological stress in real time. The founding team includes a neuroscientist, an aerospace engineer, and an algorithms engineer, who came together while working at M.I.T. Neumitra is also a portfolio company of Rock Health, the digital health seed fund.

Ion Dx, based in Danville, CA, is developing new bench-top instrumentation to measure proteins in biological samples. Ion mobility spectrometry is already used by agencies like the TSA to rapidly assess the presence of dangerous chemicals. Founder and C.E.O. Henry Benner, Ph.D., has discovered how to reconfigure this technology to accurately detect small differences in much larger molecules, including variations in protein conformation. The technology will be used to identify drug targets more efficiently, provide a new platform for developing medical diagnostic tests and assay therapeutic quality during manufacturing steps.

Important targets for diseases ranging from cancer to neurodegeneration, Ubiquitin E3 HECT ligases have been inaccessible to high-throughput drug screening because existing cell-based assays require multiple, cumbersome steps. E3XBio, based in Menlo Park, CA, has created a streamlined drug-discovery platform based on the active properties of these "undruggable" targets. The founding team, led by C.E.O. Lori Rafield, Ph.D., has substantial prior drug development experience in large biotech and pharma companies, including novel assets that are currently in human clinical studies.

The entire portfolio of Breakout Labs companies can be viewed at


Breakout Labs is a seed-stage revolving fund operating out of the Thiel Foundation in San Francisco. Our mission is to help early stage companies transition radical scientific advances out of the lab and into the economy. Although we are open to funding across all advanced sciences and technologies, we place a special emphasis on the intersection of biology and technology. Through our funding of up to $350K, we support our portfolio companies in their efforts to reach key strategic R&D milestones. The program provides additional support to our companies in the form of key introductions to potential follow-on funders, refinement of business plans and presentations, and resources that facilitate the process of building their companies. Since its inception in late 2011, Breakout Labs has funded 22 companies, resulting in one exit (acquisition by Yahoo!) and 5 Series A rounds ranging from $3M – $11M. Since receiving Breakout Labs funding, portfolio companies have gone on to secure >6X our investment in additional capital. For more information, see


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