UNM Rainforest Innovations

Circular Genomics is a local startup utilizing circular RNA to determine effective treatment options for people struggling with depression and neurological disorders. They were selected, along with twenty other early-stage startups, to participate in the finals of the Startup Battlefield cohort at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference for a chance to win $100,000. The conference took place October 18 – 20 and was highly competitive. Two hundred startups exhibited at the showcase and just twenty were selected to participate in the finals.

Watch their presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOfeCp7bjEs

Circular Genomics is developing personalized treatment for depression by predicting a patient’s sensitivity to anti-depressants by using circular RNA to measure the genes and proteins associated with pathways related to depression and other neurological disorders. With this information, doctors could make better informed decisions when determining effective medication options for patients.

The technology that Circular Genomics is working to commercialize was developed by University of New Mexico researchers Dr. Nikolaos Mellios, assistant professor of UNM’s Neurosciences Department, and Dr. Alexander Hafez, who worked with Dr. Mellios as a doctoral candidate in biomedical science before graduating in January 2021. Dr. Hafez is currently president of the company and presented their technology at the competition. Their other collaborator, Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, is from the University of Texas Southwestern medical Center at Dallas.

Learn more about Circular Genomics here: https://www.circulargenomics.com/

See Devin Coldewey’s October 18 article, “Circular Genomics uses RNA to stop depression meds being a guessing game,” on TechCrunch here: https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/18/circular-genomics-uses-rna-to-stop-depression-meds-being-a-guessing-game/

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