Springboard Startup Spotlight: Jaan Biotherapeutics

Jun 5, 2017

Jaan Biotherapeutics, LLC is a private company that is developing novel therapies to activate the cardiac regeneration process in diseased hearts using proprietary technology. The technology manipulates microRNAs to activate an endogenous cardiac muscle regeneration process which has been shut down in the adult human heart during evolution.

The company’s current focus is Ischemic Heart Disease, but the therapy can be applied to many cardiac diseases where cardiac muscle regeneration is required.

We got the chance to talk to the company’s president and co-founder Dr. Bhawanjit Brar about her personal life, company goals, and experience with CONNECT. 

What problem does your business attempt to solve?

We are developing two therapies that can target three cardiovascular diseases. The indications being addressed are acute myocardial infarction (including ischemic heart disease or IHD), cardiomyopathy associated with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), and familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Unmet Needs:

· IHD is the largest cause of death globally and affects over 735,000 patients annually in the US.

· DMD affects one in 3,600 boys that results in muscle degeneration and premature death, primarily due to heart failure.

· HCM is an inherited orphan disease affecting 0.2% of the population and is the single largest cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes and those younger than 30 years of age.

What is the largest obstacle you have had to overcome in starting a business?

The largest obstacle has been to get the initial seed funding. The first two years are the hardest when you have no money, no salary and are working very long hours with no guarantee of success. It can be lonely especially if you are the sole founder, so find a mentor or collaborator that you can sound board off.

How did you hear about CONNECT?

I first heard about CONNECT through emails and applied to the InnovateHer contest.

What makes you passionate about your job?

Most entrepreneurs want to make a difference. What makes me passionate about this job is that our company is developing therapies that regenerate damaged heart muscle within the heart and could prevent death and suffering for currently incurable cardiac diseases. 

When are you the happiest?

I love my work and figuring out problems that are technically challenging. Combined with spending time with my two daughters, husband, family and friends and running half marathons, my life is complete.

What’s the best business advice you received from the Springboard program?

Slide presentation, how to present to investors, company valuation, and the importance of patent protection.

What advice would you give to other startups?

I would get some seed capital before you start. Plan ahead. A lot of people will think you are crazy, but believe in yourself and your vision. Try and stay positive and focused all the time. There will be downs and there will be ups and be ready to face the challenges. Most of all have fun!

Check out Jaan Biotherapeutics here