Two diagnostics makers score lab space via Amgen ‘golden ticket’

A pair of early-stage diagnostics companies, Darmiyan and Enable Biosciences, have won one year of lab space at the San Francisco life sciences incubator QB3@953, thanks to Amgen’s Golden Ticket program.

Launched in 2015, Amgen’s program aims to foster early-stage innovation at life sciences startups. Previous winners include Novopyxis, which is working on devices and therapeutics for diseases with few treatment options, and Cocoon Biotech, which is developing silk protein-based treatments for arthritis and other diseases.

In addition to bench space at the incubator, this year’s winners will also gain access to Amgen’s scientific and business leaders, who can help them advance their scientific programs, the Big Pharma said in a statement.

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Darmiyan is working on brain imaging technology for the early detection, visualization and quantification of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. The platform combines MRI data, tissue microscopy and computational models of tissue structure at the cellular level. It is designed to help healthcare professionals catch neurodegenerative disorders before symptoms show up as well as help researchers develop new drugs for these conditions.

Enable Biosciences is developing more sensitive and specific diagnostic technology that has clinical and research applications. Its Antibody Detection by Agglutination PCR (ADAP) platform seeks to “dramatically improve” diagnosis of infectious and autoimmune diseases, including Type 1 diabetes and HIV.

"This Golden Ticket Award will accelerate our efforts to diagnose crippling diseases at their earliest and most successfully treatable stage, and to create empowered antibody tests to advance and accelerate drug discovery towards delivering on the promise of precision medicine for all,” said Enable Biosciences CEO David Seftel in the statement.

"These two organizations have produced substantive advances in diagnostic technology that have the potential to speed the drug discovery process and help to deliver important new therapeutics to patients,” said David Reese, senior vice president of translational sciences at Amgen. “Darmiyan and Enable Biosciences are developing precisely the sort of technologies we envisioned at Amgen when we framed our strategy to support promising scientific entrepreneurs.”