b'Venture Partners at CU Boulder funded a saliva-based infection test developed by Darwin Biosciences.with Sara Sawyer, Ph.D., a Professor at theShock turned into action. Meyerson andimplemented at educational institutions University of Colorado Boulders BioFrontiershis co-founders quickly saw an unmet needaround Colorado. Part of that technology Institute and the Department of Molecular,that Darwin could solve. There was a hugewas also coopted by CU Boulder to test tens Cellular, and Developmental Biology, and twoshortage of COVID-19 testing capability,of thousands of students for the virus over other colleagues. and results were taking a week, recallsthe course of the year.Id been working with Sara as a postdoc, andMeyerson. Meanwhile, people were unknow- Meyerson credits the support of Venture our group had developed this novel methodingly becoming infected and spreading it inPartners at CU Boulder, the highly adaptable for detecting the bodys earliest responsesthe community. Our test is easy to performand dedicated personnel at Darwin Biosciences, to infection, before a patient feels sick, sayswithout complicated laboratory space and weand the broader life sciences ecosystem for Meyerson. The advice we heard was, if youget an answer in 40 minutes. his teams success in bringing the effort think you have a great idea, start a companyWith support and seed money from Ventureonline rapidly under such high-pressure to make it a reality. PartnersatCUBoulderandCUsNewcircumstances.Under the stewardship of Venture PartnersVenture Challenge Award, they adaptedBrynmor Rees, the Assistant Vice Chancellor at CU Boulder, Meyerson, Sawyer, and theirtheir technology to create a turnkey solu- for Research & Innovation and a Managing partners did just that, founding Darwintion to COVID-19 testing, CoVLab, which wasDirector of Venture Partners at CU Boulder Biosciences (Boulder) to develop the Sick Stick, a disease-agnostic, saliva-based test to detect generalized onset of infection. THIS WONT BE THE LAST PANDEMIC; And two weeks later, the country shut down,THE QUESTION IS, WILL WE BE MORE says Meyerson, now Darwins CEO. We faced the prospect that funding would dry up.PREPARED FOR THE NEXT ONE?Atthatpoint,atwo-week-oldbiotech company didnt seem like such a great idea.BRYNMOR REES, MANAGING DIRECTOR, VENTURE PARTNERS AT CU BOULDER2021-2022 BIOSCIENCECOLORADO5'