UC Startups and Technologies



UC is playing a critical role in identifying, treating, and seeking a cure to COVID-19. UC Startups, faculty and entrepreneurs are developing testing, technologies and services to address the pandemic.

I&E is compiling a list and assessing UC capabilities in prevention, diagnostics and treatments to determine how we can accelerate solutions into the marketplace to tackle the growing public health crisis.


ANA Therapeutics

Niclosamide could be the first effective antiviral against COVID-19. We’re the only team working on bringing this drug to the clinic, and we need your help. It’s safe & cheap. Based on promising laboratory evidence, we are now working to see if it’s effective in the clinic. Akash Bakshi

Anti-Superbug Coating

At Ozkan Labs, Anti microbial surface coating (UC Case No. 2020-229) as a more effective alternative keeping surface reactivity high resulting in superior antimicrobial effects comparable with commercial antibiotics. Looking for potential partners who will be interested in accelerating its development and transfer to partners. mihri@ece.ucr.edu


Computer Vision App uses patent-pending AItechnology to measure truthfulness, comparable to polygraphs, requiring only a smartphone. savan.devani@biotrillion.com

Dalton Bioanalytics

Dalton Bioanalytics is digitizing the biochemical composition of blood using Mass Spectrometry. We can analyze protein, lipids, electrolytes, metabolites, and other small molecules using a single assay. Our technology can be used to generate data to optimize the human body to fight viral activity. We will publicly release all of the COVID19 data we generate to empower the research community to learn the mechanisms driving disease severity and potential therapeutic targets. Seungjun.yeo@daltonbioanalytics.com


Flometrics is working on a COVID-19 ventilator. They’ve developed a version of a device suitable for patients with low to intermediate respiratory distress has already been built from inexpensive and easily found hardware store parts, with more detailed instructions soon to come online. The Key to their approach is a simplified, easily built method of applying lung back-pressure (PEEP) while simultaneously capturing and reducing the virus in the patient’s exhalations. sharring@flometrics.com

Guided Clarity

COVID-19 patients can die from severe lung inflammation. Guided Clarity has a biologic that lowers infection-induced cytokine storm in lungs, and reduces neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, the most significant risk factor for COVID-19 severity. The therapeutic was originally identified as a metabolite in colostrum, the nutrient-rich milk a mother produces following birth. The biologic is produced synthetically, and is currently at the pre-IND stage. The natural version is formulated as clinical nutrition. olof@gclarity.com

Medinas Health

Used hospital equipment and new supplies. Acces to CODIV tests from China, ventilators. Launched https://www.mask-match.com/ to connect health care workers to mask supplies. chloe@medinashealth.com


With the backdrop of COVID-19, Oura is sponsoring research at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to study whether physiological data collected by the Oura ring, combined with responses to daily symptom surveys, can predict illness symptoms. The study aims to build an algorithm to help UCSF identify patterns of onset, progression, and recovery, for COVID-19. kkivela@ouraring.com


Peanut Robotics

Peanut drastically reduces the risk to cleaning teams that will be in immediate exposure to the virus by robotically sanitizing the environment ahead of humans. As health and sanitation standards shift to higher standards for high touch areas. ashis@peanutrobotics.com

Zirconia Inc

Zirconia Inc

Produces a surface coating that kills microbial life on contact. Benjamin Cook

Alexander Groisman

Device for sterilization of respirator masks. agroisman@ucsd.edu

Jonna Mazet

Jonna Mazet

Currently, she is the Global Director of a $175 million viral emergence early warning project, named PREDICT, that has been developed with the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats Program. jkmazet@ucdavis.edu

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Novel approach to MRI to displace CT scan for prolonged motoring of lung pathology. t.james@bioprotonics.com


CBio is building a point of care, rapid, and portable testing platform for detecting viral load at the single cell level. Our testing platform, cellPhoresis®, will enable affordable multi-time point testing of viral load to allow clinicians to better triage and treat patients. david@cbio.io

Enable Biosciences

Enable Bioscience’s COVID19 Antibody assay is live! Preliminary data from analysis of 154 samples show: 100% sensitivity 99% specificity No reactivity with antibodies from related coronaviruses such as HKU1 and NL63 Suitable for use with dried blood spot and saliva for convenient collection Fully automated for high-throughput analysis Available now are Research Use Only assay services and Assay-Ready Workstations for research collaborators. We also call on volunteers to donate blood and participate in our continuing validation study to help get this assay approved and into the field. info@enablebiosciences.com


We are working on projects that can help fight COVID-19. The market ready products on myside include the following: 1) Sample collection sets (nasal swab, viral transport medium, blood sample collection set, preservationist sets, needles and vacutainers; 2) tested and approved COVID-19 test kits, including 15 min rapid test kits and PCR reageant (Chinese Official NMPA Approval); 3) COVID-19 artificial virus particles (essential for related research); 4) Protection masks (N95, KN90) and garments. Ying Pan



Initial tests by Irvine-based Fluxergy using a synthetic COVID-19 virus suggest this system has the potential to dramatically reduce the time it takes to get results and deliver those results directly at the patient bedside. Such a test, if validated by physician-scientists at UCSD, would potentially eliminate the need to send patient samples to centralized labs, significantly speeding up the time it takes to get results. d13smith@ucsd.edu

Makani Science

Makani Science Respiratory System provides a direct measurement of respiration rate and depth of breathing. Unlike pulse oximetry which is a lagging indicator, the Makani Science system provides accurate and action early warning of respiration problems. For COVID-19 patients, the Makani Science system can provide faster information to clinicians to make decisions about the use of scarce ventilators (both intubation and extubation). michael_chu@koaaccel.com


It was spun out of the laboratory of Jennifer Doudna, the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Professor in Biomedical and Health and Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Chemistry at UC Berkeley, one of the inventors of CRISPR. Mammoth has been working on its diagnostic system called DETECTR to be a robust platform to test for diseases. In collaboration with professor of laboratory medicine Charles Chiu at UCSF—the epicenter of the brain trust for the coronavirus especially in the Bay Area—Mammoth has prototyped a rapid detection diagnosis kit using CRISPR to detect the SARS-COV-2 in human samples. Doudna Labs

Octant Bio creates SwabSeq

Octant has built, optimized, and routinely run at scale a high-throughput RNA-amplicon sequencing platform is used for their multiplexed approaches. In particular, they’ve optimized this process to be sensitive to low numbers of RNA molecules, to be low touch, and cost-effective. Currently, they’ve repurposed this platform for COVID-19 detection, called SwabSeq. The methodology avoids certain bottlenecks in the testing processing, including RNA purification, qPCR machinery and automation. SwabSeq is freely available under the Open COVID License, publishing their protocols, software, notebooks, designs, as well as the primers and controls necessary to enable SwabSeq anywhere. A number of groups, companies and academic institutions have already replicated the protocol. Sri Kosuri


PhageTech is developing a novel diagnostic platform with the accuracy of laboratory-based tests, convenience of point of care tests, potential of quantitative results vs. binary, ‘yes/no’, potential for multiple simultaneous tests, limitless adaptability to different diagnostic applications, smart test chip recognition, and connectivity for automatic results transmission. gweiss@uci.edu

Pinpoint Science

Pinpoint is prototyping and validating an accurate, low-cost, 30-second handheld Covid-19 test, for mass screening, remote self-testing, and population-level surveillance. It is based on their novel nanosensor-based technology, which derives from work at UC Santa Cruz by their chief scientist, biomolecular engineering professor Nader Pourmand. lisa.diamond@pinpointscience.com

Respira Labs

Respira Labs is developing the first wearable device to measure “trapped air,” an early marker of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). No reliable and validated methods currently exist to detect COPD exacerbations in time for early intervention and prevention. Maria Artunduaga

UCLA Researchers Currently Developing Rapid COVID-19 Testing

UCLA researchers in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology have discovered high affinity binding affibodies to COVID-19’s nucleocapsid protein that provide the basis for an ELISA-based diagnostic platform. The researchers are currently developing affibody-coated test strips for saliva detection of COVID-19 in high population settings or at home testing. mark.wisniewski@tdg.ucla.edu

Charles Chiu

Charles Chiu

In collaboration with the startup Mammoth Biosciences, is developing a rapid diagnostic test that could more quickly and widely monitor for the disease. Also see, “How the New Coronavirus Spreads and Progresses – And Why One Test May Not Be Enough.” Charles.Chiu@ucsf.edu

Eran Halperin

Eran Halperin

Software solution to triage COVID-19 patients quickly to predict who will likely end up in the ICU vs. needing minimal care. Working to adapt algorithm to predict likelihood of surge and severity of cases. Prior pilot was able to predict sub-populations that have a high likelihood of presenting for low cost vs high cost ED visits. ehalperin@cs.ucla.edu

Albert Hsiao

Albert Hsiao

One of the radiology labs on campus has recently found that an algorithm (disclosed to our office) may have potential application for detection of early pneumonia in coronavirus infection. UC San Diego is actively pursuing to non-exclusively license this technology to a for-profit company. hsiao@ucsd.edu

David Smith

David Smith

Researchers at UC San Diego are evaluating a new diagnostic testing system designed by an Orange County company that holds promise for identifying the novel coronavirus in as little as 45 minutes and typically within one hour. See David Smith’s UCSD profile here.

Ren Sun

Diagnostic kit for coronavirus using a pair of high affinity binders against the coronavirus N protein. The goal is to detect viral antigens during the early days of infection, without using PCR. PCR, takes several hours, and antibody responses occur two or three weeks after infection, after the peak of viral replication/spreading. An instant/on site diagnosis, detecting virus during the early phase of infection, is very significant for controlling the spreading. rsun@mednet.ucla.edu

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Ardell Lab

Used a novel genomics- and systems-biology-based approach to find chemical compounds — extracted from bacteria harvested from the ocean — that could inhibit enzymes from a broad spectrum of related parasites without affecting human versions of those enzymes. There are several types of infectious agents — including bacterial, parasitic, viral, fungal and prion — that cause all kinds of illnesses, from common colds and flus to such potentially life-threatening diseases as coronavirus, Zika, MERSA, C-Dif, Mad Cow disease, HIV, Ebola, African sleeping sickness, Dengue Fever and many others. dardell@ucmerced.edu

Memora Health

Memora Health launched a free, text-based triage and tracking system for hospitals to keep their communities informed and manage the volume of patients they’re seeing. info@memorahealth.com


Virtual reality software platform to study the novel coronavirus models for the development of a vaccine. keita@nanome.ai


NeVap Multi-port Subglottic Suction Endotracheal Tube. benjaminrwang@gmail.com

Nomura Research Group

Proposal is to target COVID-19 by: 1) developing cysteine-reactive covalent inhibitors against 3CLpro and PLpro through chemoproteomics-enabled covalent ligand screening approaches; and 2) developing small-molecules that selectively stall translation of viral proteins by inducing the ribosome to stall in a sequence-dependent manner of the nascent chain within the ribosomal exit tunnel. In addition, we are also interested in identifying inhibitors for RdRp. RdRp synthesizes a full-length negative-strand RNA template to be used by RdRp to make more viral genomic RNA. dnomura@berkeley.edu

Pride Lab

Our laboratory focuses on the role that viruses, particularly bacteriophages play in the human microbiome. We were amongst the first to identify that many of the viruses in the human microbiome were bacteriophages, and now we are dedicated to understanding how we might utilize bacteriophages in the human microbiome to promote human health. We have partnered with the Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics at UCSD to further our understanding of phages and to further efforts towards phage therapy in humans. dpride@ucsd.edu

Quantitative Biosciences Institute Coronavirus Research Group

Twenty-two leading laboratories, involving hundreds of scientists within the Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI) at the University of California,San Francisco (UCSF), have come together to fight the COVID-19 outbreak. The newly formed QBI Coronavirus Research Group (QCRG) have pooled their expertise in biochemistry, virology, structural, computational, chemical and systems biology to understand how the virus hijacks human cells for its own replication. Nevan.Krogan@ucsf.edu


Serimmune is applying our unique expertise and capabilities to map antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 among populations across the United States. This effort will identify the full spectrum of viral epitopes targeted during natural infections. daugherty@serimmune.com

Snark Health

Snark Health is using smart-contracts and cryptocurrency empower patients and redistribute wasted resources Snark Health is a platform that connects patients, doctors, insurers, donors, and health care services to allow for private data sharing and payments via blockchain technology to improve patient outcome. Snark will be rolling out a USSD service that provides an additional means of disseminating information to those who do not currently have a smartphone or internet access. In addition, they are in the process of forming a virtual health community. Edwin Lubanga


Kolkin is a physician-led web software engineering company. Their SOS web app is the leading physician team collaboration tool for rounding and patient hand-off communication. USC’s Pulmonary Intensive Care uses the SOS app developed by Kolkin to maintain clear communication among COVID-19 responders. Kolkin is a team in the UCI Wayfinder incubator. auron@kolkin.com

SwiftScale Biologics

SwiftScale uses a high-throughput experimentation platform to produce protein therapeutics in hundreds of small-scale reactions in parallel in one week. This enables rapid characterization of the optimal protein design for function and stability. david@swiftscalebio.com

Vendari Inc

Reinventing vaccine technologies to more quickly respond to emerging diseases such as COVID-19. Vendari will protect the global population using small, lightweight vaccination kits that can be shipped directly to users. The vaccines in some cases will be much more effective and may be self-administered. The process will be simple, painless, and less costly than current vaccine systems. Daniel Henderson

Vir Biotechnology

Vir is focused on combining immunologic insights with cutting-edge technologies to treat and prevent serious infectious diseases. gsnell@vir.bio

Pedro Cabrales

technology to maintain arterial O2 saturation of patients with COVID-19 without needing to use a ventilator. pcabrales@ucsd.edu

Adam Godzik

Conducted initial genome analysis and design of constructs for protein synthesis were performed by the bioinformatic group. The 3D structure of a potential drug target in a newly mapped protein of COVID-19, or coronavirus, has been solved by a team of researchers from the University of California, Riverside, the University of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, and Northwestern University. adam.godzik@ucr.edu

Anders Näär

We are assembling an international team of world-leading LNA ASO therapeutic development expertise who will design an LNA ASO library (50-70 permutations of length and positioning of LNA/DNA) targeting spike, have them synthesized by IDT, tested for inhibition of viral replication in human alveolar cells, guiding large-scale synthesis of top 2-3 lead LNA ASOs at IDT, then testing in a humanized transgenic mouse model and NHPs (intranasal delivery or by inhalation in dose-escalation studies) for efficacy/safety. If the lead LNA ASO exhibits a favorable safety and efficacy profile, GMP production could be scaled up for human Phase 1/2 testing and potentially large-scale synthesis and deployment. naar@berkeley.edu

Tariq Rana

Therapeutics for coronavirus. trana@ucsd.edu

Richmond Sarpong

Obtaining emergency funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create a new in silico synthesis path for Gilead’s new compound. rsarpong@berkeley.edu

Nicole Steinmetz

Vaccine platform for coronavirus. nsteinmetz@ucsd.edu

George Thompson

An infectious disease specialist at the medical center, was on the team that cared for the California patient and will test other experimental drugs for COVID-19. Also see, “Did an experimental drug help a U.S. coronavirus patient?”. grthompson@ucdavis.edu

Liangfang Zhang

Treatment for Coronavirus. l7zhang@ucsd.edu

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Aila Health

Aila Health is developing a COVID-19 symptom progression management tool to help patients self-manage their COVID-19 symptoms and symptoms from other pre-existing conditions from home. Furthermore, the data collected will help researchers understand the pathogenesis of the disease in patients with more or less severe cases of COVID-19. rory@ailahealth.com

Aura Health

Aura app will be offered for free (thousands of mindfulness meditations, coaching, stories, sounds) to help people with mental & emotional health. Steve Lee


Blockchain ecosystem intelligence. Anchain recently helped international law enforcement agencies to track down fraudsters who took advantage of the fear surrounding COVID-19 by scamming buyers out of more than $2 million worth of non-existent ‘coronavirus-protection items. The Anchain platform works by monitoring specific blockchains around the clock, allowing them to minimize detection and response times, create customer behavior alerts, leverage live transaction metrics, and track ecosystem activity within and around communities. Victor Fang


Copia makes healthy food more accessible to people in the community by helping businesses redistribute high-quality excess food to those in need. In response to COVID-19, Copia has launched the initiative #DeliveringwithDignity, which has provided 5,000 meals to individuals and families, while also providing jobs to restaurant workers (via FSR Magazine Article). komal@gocopia.com


Jupyter Hubs as a Service with built-in visualization and interaction. The strong analytics environment is used to collaborate with researchers on any Covid-19 project. rick.mcgeer@engageLively.com


Flashpub offers other researchers a platform to publish “micropublications,” one-page snapshots of results from ongoing studies, without the red tape that can delay the release of articles in traditional journals. Recently, researchers have begun using flashPub to publish models predicting COVID-19 outbreaks at the city level. Most models focus on cases and mortalities at the state or national level, which may not be as helpful for local cities and counties with different needs and resources. Nate Jacobs

Learning Equality

Seven-year mission to bring innovative educational resources to offline and low-bandwidth areas coming to a head. The team collaborates with partners to implement their free, open source, and offline learning platform, Kolibri, around the globe. The Kolibri Content Library is equipped with storybooks, videos, simulations, lesson plans, and other educational materials designed to support both students and their mentors, in a variety of languages and grade levels. info@learningequality.org


A global wireless IoT network that securely connects and locates connected devices worldwide using Bluetooth-enabled smartphones. Uniquely equipped to handle large-scale decentralized network communications and the privacy challenges posed by contact tracing, the Nodle team saw value in applying their existing technology to help stop the spread of the virus. Thus their app, called Coalition, aims to trace, identify, and notify potential carriers of COVID-19, all while preserving the privacy of its users. Garrett Kinsman


Wing is a 24/7 assistant service powered by AI & humans. We allow users to ask for absolutely anything, unlimited use, as long as the request is legal & possible. Wing will find a way to get it done, for a low monthly fee.

In this uncertain time, Wing is currently working on an offering for all frontline healthcare workers, with plans to work directly with hospitals to offer 100 licenses free for a month to overwhelmed workers and support them in the crucial job they are doing to keep our nation healthy. They can use Wing for any of their personal needs: groceries, food, running errands, anything else. Wing uses third parties to deliver service, so there will still be cost associated with deliveries, etc., however, we are waiving our monthly fee for a month. We also have an offering (that is HIPAA compliant) that allows them to work with our team to build automations that interacts with their data – which can help free up their staff at this crucial time from repetitive tasks. Martin Gomez

Armadine Gamble

Research aims at designing quantitative methods to integrate epidemiological data collected in the lab and in the field, at scales from molecules to communities, with the goal of developing biological insight and practical predictors of the epidemiological dynamics of pathogenic infectious agents in multihost systems.

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