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Alice Zhang      

Cofounder, Verge Genomics

While pursuing an MD/PhD at UCLA, Zhang was shocked to learn a fact every drug researcher knows all too well: 90% of medicines that start human studies fail. "It's still largely a guessing game," she says. Her startup, Verge Genomics, is the latest in a long line of biotechs that think merging the latest in computer science with new technologies for decoding the human genetic code can provide a solution. What's special: Verge has the guts to target Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, areas most drug companies have abandoned as hopeless. The seven-person startup raised $4 million from firms including IA Ventures and Draper Associates, and assembled advisors including Alzheimer's luminary Paul Aisen, Harvard biotech guru George Church, and the chief medical officer of the biotech firm Alkermes. Using machine-learning algorithms to understand networks of genes is an exploding scientific field. Maybe this time, it will work as a business.

News


No PhD, “No Fear”: Alice Zhang, 27, Aims Software At Neuro Diseases

It’s impossible to sum up a person with a word, a sentence, or even a paragraph. We all contain multitudes. But if a picture of 27-year-old biotech CEO Alice Zhang could emerge from a single line, it might be her response when asked to describe her first time through the whirlwind of the annual J.P. Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco...

CEO Alice Zhang speaks about Verge Genomics on "Targeting Orphan Diseases" panel

Verge Genomics CEO Alice Zhang was invited to speak on a panel featuring industry-leading biotechnology companies focused on orphan disease drug discovery at the annual Neurotech Investing & Partnering Conference. At the panel, Zhang discussed her experience co-founding and leading Verge Genomics and the Company's progress in its lead program in ALS. The panel focused on successful R&D strategies for addressing smaller rare disease markets...

Verge Genomics Completes Initial Financing to Discover and Develop Treatments for Neurodegenerative Diseases Using Genomic Data

Verge Genomics, Inc. (Verge), a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on neurodegenerative diseases, announced today that it has completed a seed financing totaling $4 million. IA Ventures led the syndicate, which included Two Sigma Ventures, Draper Associates, Great Oaks VC, Slow Ventures, Karlin Ventures and private investors. Verge was recently launched through the prestigious YCombinator accelerator program...

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