Chiu-An Lo, Ph.D., Ibrahim Kays, Ph.D., Brian Chen, Ph.D.


Molecular & Cell Biology, Neuroscience


Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology


Accelerating Drug Discovery for Genetic Diseases.

Genetic diseases affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and most available therapies address disease symptoms instead of causes. Getting a new drug to market still requires 10 years of development and can cost up to 2 billion dollars. Many of these diseases are the result of gene misexpression, and can potentially be addressed by restoring normal gene and protein production.

Geneboost’s mission is to accelerate drug discovery by identifying therapies that correct abnormal gene expression using a novel, rapid, and cost-effective approach. 

The Solution

Geneboost offers a drug screening platform based on a proprietary technology that allows it to non-invasively monitor multiple effects of a drug in living human cells. The unique approach enables simultaneous evaluation of drug efficacy, specificity, and cell toxicity, reducing the time and cost of current drug discovery by more than tenfold.

The Geneboost platform is versatile and can be applied to discover drugs that treat a wide range of genetic diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders, metabolic disorders, and certain cancers. Drugs identified and developed by Geneboost treat the root causes of the disease and work by delaying or reversing disease progression.

“At the end of the day, we are two scientists that want to use our science to make the world a better place. We are constantly learning how to set up paths towards moving our science from the lab further and make our vision and ideas clear to everyone to raise money, sell products, and services. Adapting our language and message is one of the main iterative exercises we work on and constantly evolve”. – Geneboost Co-founders

The Journey

As young entrepreneurs, Chiu An Lo and Ibrahim Kays benefited from District 3’s “coaching, expertise, and network to contact venture capital firms, funding agencies, customers, and collaborators”.

“As scientists, it was eye-opening to realize how much fundamental knowledge we needed to learn to start a business, and how important it is to frame and sell our science, whether as a message or product, in ways that different customers, investors, and collaborators can resonate with”.

The founders noted that “the path from lab research to industry is long and arduous, but being flexible and constantly adapting our strategies and message is key to ensure the Geneboost of tomorrow is better and stronger than that of yesterday.”

As a research-focused pharma company, their highest priority is to secure funding and investment needed to keep R&D going. Their recent milestones include two patents, publications, and trademarks in the USA and Canada. They also have multiple contracts in negotiation for services and solutions to collaborate or co-develop with partners.