Future Literacy
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Future Literacy

A Lesson From SARS-CoV-2: We Need to Build A Real-Time Global Biological Immune System

A coronavirus has ravaged our planet. Humanity brought to its knees by 29,829 nucleotides of “bad news wrapped in a protein.” In 2014, Jeff Klunzinger and I designed OS Fund to build a Global Biological Immune system poised to combat pandemics, climate change, famine.

OS Fund companies have mobilized, like our body’s immune response:

Front-Line Infantry: NuMat, Arzeda, Ginkgo.

Artillery: HelixNano, Augmenta.

Navy & Air Force: Nanoly.

Here is what each is doing.

Numat makes MOFs, a miracle nanomaterial which can be woven into fabric. Designed atom-by-atom so well it can filter heavy metal ions from water and be made into nanoporous masks and filters, which the DoD noticed, to make the next gen of personal protection equipment (PPE).

Arzeda can design therapeutics targeting essential SARS-CoV-2 proteins. By leveraging years of work on human proteases, Arzeda can target the virus’ spike proteins and hope to stop cell invasions at their source, by targeting the virus at one of its weakest points.

Ginkgo has made its industrial capacity and chemistry design expertise available, at its foundries, for anyone needing to accelerate diagnostic, drug or vaccine development. Ginkgo makes factories which bring the battle to the virus — an essential part of the supply chain.

HelixNano is designing an unprecedented vaccine to target two sites on the virus’ surface, useful should any one of those sites mutate, as they are expected to do. A two-target vaccine would still work. This means a greater chance of a useful vaccine viable for a longer time.

Augmenta is obtaining the antiviral antibody sequences from the blood of those who had COVID-19 but recovered. With this, they are scaling into a therapeutic which could be dosed into patients by fall.

Once a vaccine or therapy exists, it has to be shipped. However, much of the world lacks the refrigeration required to ship and store. Nanoly, the leader in creating technology to reduce dependency of the “cold-supply chain.” This could save millions of lives. Speed is critical.

Together, NuMat, Arzeda, Ginkgo, HelixNano, Augmenta, Nanoly and the dozens of other companies in the OS Fund portfolio are poised to revolutionize the way our planet responds to a biological crisis.

Given that we are biology, on a big ball of biology, floating in space. Our innovation is our defense. We must know ourselves and our enemy. SARS-CoV-2 is in many of us and will be in many more of us. It will mutate. It has and will continue to kill. And it will be around for years.

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Bryan Johnson

Bryan Johnson

Founder & CEO KernelCo . Also founder OSFund & Braintree Venmo