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Dr. Amrie Grammer, co-founder of AMPEL BioSolutions, joins the show to discuss biotech and her company. The show is hosted by Paul Sweeney and Matt Miller on Bloomberg Radio/Bloomberg Markets. Bloomberg Markets is focused on bringing you the most important global business and breaking market news as it happens
Paul Sweeney: probably like most people love to complain about, you know, big pharma companies, drug prices, all that kind of stuff. But boy over the last few years, a renewed sense of gratitude for the biotech space for the pharmaceutical space as they delivered the vaccines for COVID-19 in just amazing time and amazing efficacy. So maybe a little different way to view those businesses. Let’s welcome Dr. Amrie Grammer, co-founder and scientific director at AMPEL Biosolutions for your impressive resume. The only problem with a lot of University of Virginia stuff and for this Duke graduate that’s a little bit troubling for me, but hopefully we can get past that. Doctor, thanks so much for joining us here. Let’s just start off by talking about – what is AMPEL Biosolutions? What are you guys up to?
Dr Amrie Grammer: Thanks for having me on. AMPEL Biosolutions is a precision medicine company at the intersection of genomics and machine learning, AI. We’ve validated across diseases including oncology and infectious disease. Our first product launch is an auto immunity disease called Lupus that primarily affects women.
Paul Sweeney: So, talk to us about kind of like it seems like just for you know, a lot of folks now we know a lot more about how drugs get approved. You know, as we as we kind of come to this pandemic, where we had had to experience it firsthand, and we have people like Dr. Fauci walking us through it. How has it changed in your mind over the last few years to kind of get a great concept you may have, a great piece of science you may have, getting into the market?
Dr Amrie Grammer: Pharma primarily is trying to bring drugs to the market to assist people in getting better across a variety of diseases. And one of the big challenges is that people experience disease differently. And the same drug is not right for everyone within the disease. So, a precise approach, and that’s exactly what AMPEL does, is the end-to-end solution that sustains over 15 pharma customers so far from preclinical models, all the way through the clinical trials to really find a signature that matches up the right drug with the right person. At the right time.
Paul Sweeney: So, I mean, it’s, I guess, the last part of the process that we really don’t know about, we don’t see you know, down in the weeds about getting these samples and getting the right group of patients. So what specifically do you guys do to help the pharma companies identify what are the right groups of people to maybe you know, test some of these therapeutics on?
Dr Amrie Grammer: the platform technology and we’re focused on RNAs that are expressed when the DNA that you inherit opens up and you can think about them. there are 20,000 in every cell of your body that can be turned on off and on like light switches. You can think about it as what you experience at a rock concert or theater. What you see on stage as a compilation of the lightboard operator, turning them all on and off. What AMPEL has done is made tools to really categorize all of those by cell type function and pathway and therefore being able to make a signature to find the right drug for the right person at the right time.
Matt Miller: Where are you making the most progress? I mean, where do you see you know, the most light at the end of the tunnel for a lot of these diseases that not only don’t have a cure, but are even difficult to diagnose?
Dr Amrie Grammer: autoimmunity is on the forefront. Precision medicine is pretty much the standard of care in oncology right now. I mentioned our first product is blood tests for lupus patients, and in 2023, we’re bringing a skin biopsy test for psoriasis, scleroderma, atopic dermatitis, and lupus, as well as a wellness blood test for those that want to monitor themselves to keep them within a normal range of inflammation. The wave of the future is really attacking chronic diseases that affect a large number of Americans and to get the right drug to the right person at the right time, sooner. And lupus is a big problem. It takes five years on average, if ever, to get through a stable drug regimen to prevent organ damage, like kidneys, and flares. So, I think the wave of the future is really chronic diseases like autoimmunity.
Paul Sweeney: Alright, thank you so much Dr. Amrie Grammer for joining us here. Dr. Amrie Grammer, co-founder and scientific director for AMPEL bio solutions, talking about getting the right patients in the right tests for the right therapeutics as the biotech industry continues to bring amazing therapeutics to the market.