Life Sciences Projects

**All projects listed below are cur­rently seek­ing MBA interns**


3DSkema is a startup created by UW Bioengineering Prof. and 3D-printing expert Albert Folch. The company consists of 1) a web marketplace where users are able to exchange, buy and sell 3D CAD designs, and 2) a 3D-printing service bureau specialized in high-resolution printing of biomedical devices in the biocompatible resins developed by the Folch lab. The site is now in the beta-testing (non-public) phase.

We are seeking highly motivated graduate-level students with an MBA or Law background to assist in various tasks on an internship basis.

Center for Cancer Innovation- Tumor Crowd Modeling Platform

Founding Team: Tony Blau, Kimberly Burton, Brigham Mecham

CoMotion Technology Manager: Lindsie Goss

The cost of cancer care in the US is expected to double by 2020 and no significant decline in death rates is projected.  UW Medicine’s Center for Cancer Innovation’s (CCI) mission is to place the world’s knowledge, technology and resources at the disposal of individual cancer patients (“all for one”), while learning from their experiences to add to our collective understanding about how cancer works for the benefit of future patients (“one for all”).

Over the past 15 months CCI has launched a series of “next generation” clinical trials; the Intensive Trials of Omics in Cancer (ITOMIC) and its Tumor Crowd Modeling Platform (TCMP).  A clinical trial of high throughput drug screening for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is spinning off toward commercialization and is not described further here.  Having established the feasibility of these programs, the next step in achieving CCI’s vision requires scale up.

We are requesting a highly motivated MBA student interested in personal genomics & cancer care to help with further defining the below:

  • Prepare a detailed competitive analysis.
  • Define the addressable market and understand the motivations of the different constituents: cancer patients, oncologists, researchers, biotech/pharma.
  • Outline various go-to-market strategies.
  • Suggest a sustainable funding model based that is not dependent on grants/donations.

Understanding the Value of Computationally Designed Small Molecule Binding Proteins

Researchers at the Institute for Protein Design have developed breakthrough protein engineering capabilities enabling the computational design of new proteins that can bind with high affinity and specificity to small molecule targets.   We are working to design binders for the following targets:

  • THC and Cannabidiol to detect and quantify these marijuana plant metabolites in the emerging “pot quality assessment” market.
  • Apixaban, aka Eliquis, a $2B / Yr drug product sold by BMS and Pfizer to prevent blood clotting. Unfortunately the drug has no antidote and patients taking it are at risk for lethal bleeds after accidents. An Apixaban binder could be used as a therapeutic antidote and also a diagnostic agent.
  • Vitamin D, and its various forms, to provide an alternative for diagnosis of Vitamin D deficiency avoiding costly assays that require mass spectrometry.

An MBA Student is needed to work with IPD leadership to collect market data on these “Small Molecule Binder” applications. The data will be used to build valuation models that will help us to better understand the commercial opportunities for these applications (or others).

The successful MBA candidate will be outgoing, creative, and highly capable of independent study. This person will be willing to pick up the phone and call who ever may be able to answer key questions that might not be available in the public domain.

At the end of this project the IPD will have working, cross-referenced, valuation models for each of these commercial opportunites.

Feasibility Study for Medical Device Reuse

Help create a simple feasibility study for reusing and recycling medical devices.  InterConnection is a Seattle based nonprofit organization that has provided refurbished computers to underserved communities for nearly 15 years.  InterConnection has a computer reuse center in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood where computers are refurbished or prepared for proper recycling.  The goal for 2014 is to start refurbishing medical devices, such as wheel chairs, crutches, and hospital equipment.  Once refurbished, these devices will be provided to hospitals and clinics in developing countries.  Before making significant investments into this project a simple feasibility study must be carried out to determine what it would take to set up such a program.  We are looking for a business student, planning student or volunteer who is looking for a worthwhile project that could have an actual outcome.  Support will be provided by InterConnection’s board of directors and InterConnection’s Executive Director.  Work can be done onsite or remotely.

The feasibility study should include the following:

Potential setup and operation costs

Needs analysis

Analysis of comparables

Potential markets and revenue

Resources required


Identification of a Novel Therapeutic for Treatment of Toxoplasmosis and Cryptosporidiosis

UW has developed novel therapeutic to treat protozoal infections in domestic animal populations. The preliminary data supports three market indications for our compound:

  1. Treating Cryptosporidium infections in calves to prevent symptoms and therefore bring cattle to slaughter or milk production earlier;
  2. Preventing epidemic abortion outbreaks caused by Neospora caninum in cattle populations;
  3. Preventative periodic treatment of Toxoplasma gondii infections in domestic cats which protects pregnant women from exposure to potential birth defects from infection.

All domestic food animals can be infected by Cryptosporidium, yet cattle are nearly universally infected at birth. Disabling diarrhea results in initial weight loss and wasting of calves until they develop immunity and grow. Treating the infection at the birth of calves would allow the animals to get to market or be made to produce milk one month earlier, which could help farmers maintain a profit from their herds.

Another infection affecting herd animals is caused by Neospora caninum. This infection leads to epidemic abortions. Affected cattle must be isolated or culled.  Our drug would provide a therapeutic option.

Toxoplasma gondii can be transmitted from cats to human. It is a major concern in human pregnancy, where it causes severe birth defects or miscarriage. There are only a few effective drugs to treat this infection; however, these drugs cause rash, leukopenia, and nephrotoxicity, and can themselves lead to complications of pregnancy. As a result, many physicians recommend that pregnant women re-home or limit contact to their pet cats.  Periodic treatment of pregnant women’s cats would remove the risk of transmission.

We need an interested MBA student to help us to understand the markets and to select an initial market.

Tasks may include:

  • Write a comprehensive business plan (or specific elements of a plan)
  • Write a market assessment report identifying target markets, and conduct market analysis for each market (market size, growth rate, competitors, product features)
  • Write an overall business description with strategy plan
  • Compile descriptions of competitors and their products, including the key features, strengths and weaknesses of each of these products
  • Create a list of potential customers for these products
  • Write a memo identifying additional applications for the technology


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