Harry Glorikian is a good friend and a well known author and investor in life sciences. Harry has written MoneyBall Medicine: Thriving in the New Data-Driven Healthcare Market, which includes interviews with dozens of healthcare leaders, describes the business challenges and opportunities arising for those working in one of the most vibrant sectors of the world’s economy.
Harry also leads a MoenyBall Medicine podcast. With his permission, I am sharing his most recent episode. Harry’s guest for this unusually frank and urgent episode is Jacob Glanville, the founding partner, CEO, and president of Distributed Bio. The company is using its skills in computational antibody analysis and optimization to help the drug industry develop new vaccines and antibody-based treatments for a range of diseases, potentially including the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
If you’ve seen the recent Netflix docu-series “Pandemic,” about efforts to check previous viral outbreaks, you’ve seen former Pfizer scientist Jacob Glanville in action. The inventor, entrepreneur, and Ph.D. immunologist capitalized on the advent of cloud computing to provide vaccine and drug developers with high-throughput genomic sequencing of antibodies in humans and other species. He calls it “using the ability to look deep into these maelstroms of antibodies to try to understand why vaccines fail to hit conserved epitopes [where antibodies attach to antigens] on influenza or HIV, or how to better produce an antibody medicine.” Revenue from the service allowed the startup to grow without outside capital. Today the company is developing a universal flu vaccine for pigs and humans.