CapCell Biologics, a biotechnology startup co-founded by Bioethics program graduate Jon Zaikowski, announced on Nov. 25 that it has executed a license agreement for NASA’s carbon nanotube capsule technology.
Co-founded by Zaikowski and Ben Young, a researcher at Weill Cornell Medical College, CapCell Biologics develops drug-delivery implants to treat rare diseases. The agreement gives them exclusive rights to use a NASA-invented capsule enabling them to implant living cells into people.
CapCell’s initial focus is Fabry disease, a rare metabolic disorder that is currently treated by infusing biologics, or therapeutic proteins, into the bloodstream. According to the company’s executive summary, these bi-weekly infusions can last up to four hours per session and cause “infusion reactions” in 59% of patients. CapCell’s subdermal implants will replace infusion treatments and be able to secrete enzyme “directly into the bloodstream for months to years.”
CapCell recently won third place and a $10,000 prize in the Columbia Venture Competition, In addition to his graduate work in the Bioethics program, Zaikowski has also been associated with Columbia’s Center for the Study of Social Difference.