Guru sat down with Lindsay Pino, Co-Founder & CTO at Talus Bio to talk about Talus Bio's innovative drug discovery & development approach, the importance of digitization and automation, equal representation in the biotech industry and much more.
Talus Bio is developing drugs that can switch off cancer-causing genes
Transcription factors are the proteins that read different genes and turn genes on or off to develop these different phenotypes. This is the ideal case scenario when everything is working great. However, transcription factors can turn on at the wrong time and can cause diseases such as cancer. Talus Bio uses their technology to read what transcription factors bind to DNA and use this information to develop drugs that can help switch-off cancer-causing genes and switch-on genes that would rejuvenate the immune system.
Measuring the effects of drug compounds on the binding of transcription factors to DNA
Talus Bio asks a very simple question of “if you can’t do it in a test tube, do it in a live cell.
“We measure if a drug affects the binding of a transcription factor to DNA, and if it's inhibiting and degrading that transcription factor.” - Lindsay Pino, Co-Founder & CTO at Talus Bio
We do this by testing drug compounds and analyzing if particular drug compounds are specifically and sensitively knocking off a transcription factor off of chromatin.
Importance of digitization and automation for life-science companies
Lindsay talks about the importance of digitization and automation for life-science companies. She tells us that it is crucial to have all metadata associated with your samples and research captured in one place and be easily accessible by anyone in the company working on those samples. In some cases, there may be different teams in the same company that would need access to this data. For example, the wet-lab teams might physically work on the samples and update the metadata; this should be available for review by the dry-lab teams when they are analyzing the data for the samples.
Advice for women and underrepresented minorities
Lindsay tells us that diversity in the workplace fosters diverse ideas .
“If there is anybody out there from an underrepresented group, there are resources out there specifically for you on how to start a company. There are investors interested in helping you as a founder create a company and get into this space.”- Lindsay Pino, Co-Founder & CTO at Talus Bio
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