Lerer Hippeau
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Lerer Hippeau

Please welcome Vibe Bio, the biotech company using blockchain to treat rare diseases

Meet Vibe Bio, the latest addition to Lerer Hippeau’s portfolio.

HQ: Boston

Founders: Alok Tayi PhD and Josh Forman

The problem: One in ten Americans lives with a rare disease. For too many, the time it would take to find a cure is longer than the time they have to live. But for many rare diseases, the most challenging component isn’t finding a treatment — it’s funding it. Research is tremendously expensive and getting public support to fund it is challenging. Patient communities of rare and overlooked diseases need a better way to access funding and community support to develop cures and ownership over results.

Vibe Bio’s solution: Vibe Bio offers the first community-driven approach to identifying and developing treatments for rare diseases. Through a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), Vibe brings together patients, scientists and partners, aligning incentives across stakeholder groups to help accomplish its mission to cure rare diseases. This innovative approach seeks to scale the development of viable treatments and provides patient communities unprecedented ownership over results. The DAO will foster a community of patients and experts, whereby members connect directly with investors and scientists. Members will have the power to vote on which rare disease research proposals to pursue through the $VIBE governance token, which will launch later this year, and all economic value generated from these ventures will be owned by patient communities and patient advocacy organizations partnering on the efforts.

Origin story: Vibe Bio’s co-founder Alok founded the company after his daughter was born with a disease that is commonly understood, but lacks therapeutic options for treatment. Alok opined on this problem while spending time with his daughter in the NICU and built Vibe to develop a new approach to creating therapeutics — one that taps capital unlocked by blockchain technology and empowers the patients who would benefit most from new therapies. Alok, who brings deep biotech experience, partnered with co-founder Josh, who has built multiple startups in the SaaS and medical device space, to bring that vision to life.

Why we’re betting on it: Alok and Josh are the ideal team to build a complex project like Vibe. Their deep scientific and product experience equip them to navigate complexities in biotech, crypto, and healthcare. And their early traction is tremendous: they’ve already partnered with patient advocacy organizations including Chelsea’s Hope and NF2 Biosolutions to pursue promising therapeutics for rare and fatal diseases. With Chelsea’s Hope, they’re working on Lafora disease, a fatal form of epilepsy, and with NF2 Biosolutions, they’re tackling Neurofibromatosis Type 2, a noncancerous tumor disorder that impacts the nervous system. Appetite for an innovative solution like Vibe Bio abounds, as no one is as dedicated to finding a path forward than the families and communities around the 25–30 million Americans living with life-altering and fatal diseases. These peoples’ dedication, coupled with support from the industry’s leading institutions and partners, makes Vibe Bio a compelling solution.

Our take: When we invest in cryptocurrency and blockchain companies, we’re always focused on real solutions for real people, and novel applications that bring crypto to the next billion users. We’re especially interested in practical applications uniquely enabled by blockchain to solve strong enterprise or consumer needs. Vibe Bio’s fascinating approach to using a DAO constitutes true leadership in the space. We hope to see more businesses using technologies like these to address critical issues affecting millions of people and their loved ones.

Further reading:How Vibe Bio Works” via Vibe

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Lerer Hippeau

Lerer Hippeau

Lerer Hippeau is the most active early-stage venture capital fund in New York.