Navigating the Ups and Downs and Sideways of a University Start-up Company

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Depiction of different extracellular matrix (ECM) Bone ECM (Left), Liver ECM (Center), Lung ECM (Right)a


Andrea Nye
CEO, Xylyx Bio, Inc.


Xylyx Bio spun out of Columbia University’s renowned Laboratory for Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering in 2016 to enable more accurate and actionable drug discovery and development for patients in need. Existing models in drug discovery do not adequately replicate native physiology. Isolated components and synthetic materials are typically tested in non-physiologic in vitro systems and animal models. This is leads to a large number of unsuccessful clinical trials of new drugs, and impedes’ the translatation of research to patients. The cost associated with these unsuccessful studies cost biotech and pharma companies significant time and money, resulting in high drugs costs. With methods often described as organ-on-a chip, or lab-on-chip, Andrea Nye’s team, has developed a platform technology that allows for testing the efficacy of various drugs and treatment approaches to be tested in a human-like environment.  This brings early insight into the efficacy of candidate compounds and accelerates decision-making in pre-clinical lead compound testing. Long clinical trials with inefficient drugs can be avoided.

Andrea Nye leads a group of scientists and engineers with deep scientific expertise and understanding of the relationship between the cellular microenvironment and complex diseases.  They seek to harnesses the power of the extracellular matrix (ECM) – the body’s natural essential cellular microenvironment – to create biomaterials that provide cells with complex structural support and biochemical signals required for cellular function. Xylyx biomaterials comprise both the mechanical properties and complex ratios of the cellular environment specific and unique to organ type and disease state, enabling drug candidates to be investigated in vitro in a human-relevant environment. By recapitulating the defining physiological feature of human disease, Xylyx Bio’s In Matrico™ platform brings much-needed insight into the efficacy of candidate compounds consistent with clinical results.

In this presentation Andrea Nye will provide a high-level introduction of this technology. In addition, she will share her entrepreneurial experience in moving technology developed in a university laboratory to the market via the start-up company route.