b'The Enliven Therapeutics team develops small-molecule,targeted cancer therapies.C O L O R A D OFOUNDERS CHOOSE COLORADOS COLLABORATIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR NEW VENTURES M ature,vital,andself-sustainingby Peaceful Union (Hangzhou,Ethan Mann, Ph.D., M.B.A.CEOValidus Cellular Therapeutics ecosystems are characterized byChina).Mannwaseagerto diversity, by mutualism and inter- combinehisentrepreneurial dependency, by resilience, and by generationalinterests, his scientific training in succession, with founders recombining andmicrobial biofilms, and advances in passing on their prosperity to future genera- the burgeoning field of cell therapy. tions. Colorados life sciences ecosystem is noTheres a movement in oncology to leverageand Dow co-founded Validus in 2019 to different. Our newest startups represent a newthe innate capacity of stem and immunedevelop and commercialize those discoveries.generation ready to carry the success forward.cells to deliver therapeutic potency in new Mann says that the collaborative nature of Fine-Tuning Stem Cells to Fightways, while mitigating off-target effects, saysColorados ecosystem provides just the kind of Drug-Resistant Infections Mann. My question was, is anyone lookingenvironment that small companies like Validus at this for device-associated infections? Ifneed to thrive.Validus Cellular Therapeutics (Fitzsimonswe can find a way to stimulate the innate Innovation Community, Aurora) is a pre-INDimmune system to recognize and attackStartups need feedback on the science, on stage company investigating the use of acti- biofilms, we could reduce morbidity and theapproaches to financing, on clinical trial design, vated mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) toneed for aggressive interventions. and on commercialization strategies to deliver overcome drug-resistant biofilm infectionsreturns on investors money, says Mann. associated with surgery, implanted medicalAs it turns out, preliminary work using acti- Weve received so much help out of CSU and devices, and pneumonia. These low-grade,vated MSCs against microbial organismsthe Fitzsimons Innovation Community as well chronic infections evade the immune system,was already under way in the laboratoryas from numerous individuals and groups affecting patients health and the integrity ofof veterinary scientist Steven Dow, D.V.M.,out of Colorados universities, the Colorado implanted devices and artificial joints.Ph.D.,ProfessorintheDepartmentofBioScience Association, incubator hubs like Clinical Sciences and Director of the CenterInnosphere, and other companies. The advice Co-Founder and now CEO Ethan Mann, Ph.D.,for Immune and Regenerative Medicine atand collaborations have been tremendously M.B.A. was seeking his next venture after theColorado State University. Together, Mannhelpful in getting Validus off the ground.acquisition of Sharklet Technologies (Aurora) 18 BIOSCIENCECOLORADO 2021-2022'