At the concluding event of the 2014 Dean’s Health & Life Science Challenge, Aldatu Biosciences was selected as the winner of the inaugural Bertarelli Prize – an impressive achievement for a young company with huge potential.
Aldatu Biosciences was founded at the iLab by David Raiser and Iain MacLeod to further their efforts to apply PANDAA (Pan-Degenerate Amplification and Adaptation) technology to the challenge of detecting drug resistant strains of HIV. PANDAA is a familiar technology to many in the scientific community but Aldatu Bioscience have applied it in a novel way to great effect.
Drug resistance is already a huge problem and Iain McLeod be believes the problem is only getting worse:
“Year on year, both transmitted and acquired resistance to HIV antiretroviral is increasing around the world. When a Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute study started in 2010, about 4 per cent. of women who were coming into antenatal clinics had resistance. Now it’s up to 10 per cent.”
Aldatu Biosciences are entering an exciting stage of their development and intend to use their prize to help further their existing relationships with health professionals in East Africa where there is urgent need for improved detection of drug resistance.
The Bertarelli Foundation is a keen supporter of entrepreneurs in the life science sector, and especially those that can make practical improvements to the health and well-being of large numbers of people. Aldatu Biosciences is an excellent example of a young company with big ideas and the drive and desire to make a difference.
Ernesto Bertarelli, co-Chair of the Bertarelli Foundation, has announced the creation of the Bertarelli Foundation Health and Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Fund with a generous gift to Harvard Business School.
The fund will support activities at the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab), which leverages entrepreneurial spirit throughout the University and shows the unlimited possibilities unleashed when individuals from a wide range of fields but with a shared passion are brought together. In particular, the fund will support the Deans’ Health and Life Sciences Challenge, launched in 2012 and chaired by Nitin Nohria, Dean of Harvard Business School and Jeffrey S. Flier, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Harvard Medical School (HMS).
Dean Nohria commented:
“Our Deans’ Challenge was created to accelerate the development of innovative solutions and help position Harvard University as the pre-eminent institution in health care and life sciences. With the generous support of the Bertarelli Foundation, we hope this challenge will inspire innovative solutions to major problems in the world’s health care system by advancing new cures and therapies, developing new ways to apply information technology, and designing new health care systems to deliver affordable health.”
Earlier this year, the Bertarelli Foundation made two additional gifts to Harvard University. Driven by the power of scientific teamwork, the foundation gave $6 million to expand the Bertarelli Program in Translational Neuroscience and Neuroengineering at HMS and EPFL. A second gift of $3 million established the Bertarelli Catalyst Fund for the Dean of HMS, with the goal of enabling key research opportunities at the school.