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Nexilico Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation

Berkeley, CA, February 1, 2020 – Nexilico, Inc. has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $225,000 to conduct research and development (R&D) work on the personalization of gut microbiome therapeutics. 


A growing body of research is unearthing the close associations between a range of diseases and the gut microbiome. As a result, a range of "live biotherapeutics" are under development to fight various diseases by modulating the gut microbiota. A primary challenge, however, is the highly variable compositional and functional landscape of the gut microbiome across individuals. In order to address this issue, Nexilico is developing a computational platform to personalize live biotherapeutics and improve patient response rate and therapeutics efficacy.


“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, Division Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.” 


"We are extremely delighted to be selected as one of the recipients of the SBIR Phase I grant from the NSF" said Dr. Mohammad Soheilypour, CEO of Nexilico, Inc. "This funding would substantially help our team to further develop and validate our technology. In addition, the mentorship from NSF's network of seasoned entrepreneurs, innovators, and commercialization experts provides us with the tools and knowledge to  successfully commercialization our technology."


Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $256,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $1,000,000). Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales. 


Startups or entrepreneurs who submit a three-page Project Pitch will know within three weeks if they meet the program’s objectives to support innovative technologies that show promise of commercial and/or societal impact and involve a level of technical risk. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply. All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program, also known as America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, undergo a rigorous merit-based review process. To learn more about America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/


About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.75 million to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.1 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.

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The National Institutes of Health Awards Nexilico with Phase I SBIR Grant

Berkeley, CA, May 1, 2019 – Nexilico, a computational biology startup focused on developing in silico tools for microbiome precision medicine, was selected to receive a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $225,000 to develop a computational platform to predict the individual-specific response of the gut microbiome to therapeutics. The funding is provided by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). 


The human gut microbiome has recently become a primary focus of therapeutic research. Specifically, evidence for the role of the gut microbiome as a determining factor in drug pharmacokinetics and therapeutics response has exponentially expanded. However, despite extensive progress in gut microbiome research, no current effort had been able to leverage personalized omics data to explore the dynamics of gut microbiome in interacting with therapeutics. Using state-of-the-art computational techniques, Nexilico is developing a predictive computational platform to simulate the personalized, multi-scale dynamics of the gut microbiome in interaction with therapeutics to improve the effectiveness of drug design and development. 


About the National Institutes of Health's Small Business Programs: NIH's SBIR and STTR programs are an integral source of capital for early stage U.S. small businesses to engage in federal research and development that has a strong potential for commercialization. These programs invest over 1 billion dollars into health and life science companies that are creating innovative technologies that align with NIH’s mission to improve health and save lives. A key objective is to translate promising technologies to the private sector and enable life-saving innovations to reach consumer markets. To learn more about NIH's Small Business programs, visit: https://sbir.nih.gov/


Disclaimer: Research reported in this press release was supported by National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number R43GM130228. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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