Open-source start-up TLS lands seed funding

CHICAGO -- Open-source drug development upstart Transparency Life Sciences has "raised a small seed round" of funding. It's using the funds to build an Internet presence, says Tomasz Sablinski, head of clinical development at private equity concern Celtic Therapeutics, in an interview at the recent DIA show. Sablinski also is founder of TLS.

New co-founders include Marc Foster, a biotech IT entrepreneur and president at tech startup catalyst Foster & Roberts, and Larry Steinman of Stanford University's Beckman Center for Molecular Medicine.

The Internet presence will be a space for like-minded open-source drug developers to create and work on projects.  Sablinski says he plans to officially launch TLS in the next few months with one drug development pilot project and then add subsequent projects. His goal is a "robust portfolio" by year's end.

Sablinski has been the chief champion of TLS, advocating not just open-source software but drug development as a whole. He questions whether drug development can be a viable business without using open source, and whether Big Pharma is capable of making the transition.

TLS is "more on the trajectory of a web-based company than a biotech. And I'm looking for similarly fast ROI by being transparent," Sablinski says. He adds that other companies have signed on with TLS and that several partnerships are in the works. Among these joiners are "traditional and nontraditional companies in biopharma drug development."

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