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Vote for us in the ARPA-H Dash!

April 24 Update: We made it to Round 2! Thanks so much to everyone who voted and commented. Let's keep it up, onto the Sweet 16!
We recently entered a contest to receive funding from ARPA-H, a new federal health research initiative. The contest is called ARPA-H Dash, and it’s March Madness-style, with a bracket of 64 ideas competing against each other, with voters deciding who advances to the next round. We’re so proud that, out of over 400 entries, we were chosen to be one of the 64 competitors. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to vote for us! We’ll tell you how.
Here’s what our project is about:
Title: “LinkedIn for Organoids”
Proposed Health Transformation: Our platform connects patients to scientists studying living copies of their tumors, enabling dynamic data sharing and direct communication.
Current Implementation: Scientists create miniature copies of patient tumors to research disease progression and treatment, but privacy policies preclude communication of relevant findings with patients and their physicians.
What’s New: Uniting patients and scientists in a privacy-preserving social network with dedicated blockchain infrastructure will ensure regulatory compliance while eliminating barriers between bench and bedside.
Evidence Statement: Research on patient tumors can inform personalized care in real time, but without infrastructure connecting scientists and patients we miss opportunities to save lives.
Guillen KP, Fujita M, Butterfield AJ, et al. A human breast cancer-derived xenograft and organoid platform for drug discovery and precision oncology. Nat Cancer. 2022;3(2):232-250. doi:10.1038/s43018-022-00337-6
A Little Bit More About the Project:
We’re hoping to expand our existing platform (the de-bi app) to directly connect everyone in the tissue research “pipeline”: the patient whose tissue is used, their physician, and the researchers who end up using their tissue in research. By creating this connection, these stakeholders can collaborate in an unprecedented way. Patients can learn about their contribution to research, make better decisions about their care, and further advance biomedical science.
For our existing app users , we’d like to expand our network and try to find your biosamples wherever they may be. By adding more biobanks, at UPMC, Johns Hopkins, and beyond, your samples will be returned to you in our biowallet.
For researchers, this platform helps to keep patients engaged and up to date with research progress. IRB compliance maintains legacy de-identification, while the platform creates opportunities for patients to provide follow-up data. Patients with available, banked samples can self-sort into cohorts based on characteristics or research interests. You can join a patient-led lab or create your own, and you can provide automated updates about ongoing research.
For biobanks, this platform can also facilitate collaboration across research institutions by creating a decentralized sample marketplace that maintains data provenance and, crucially, keeps patients in the loop. Our research has shown that patients appreciate being engaged as donors to research regardless of their potential to benefit as individuals.
To Vote For Us
Voting for Round 2 ends at midnight on April 30. In order to vote for us, you’ll have to:
1. Make an Account on the polyplexus platform.
2. Once you’re signed in to your account, go to the Brackets page. This must be done on a desktop, and not on a mobile device.
3. Click VOTE in the top middle of the bracket.
4. This will open up a screen that takes you through the entire bracket, one by one, starting with Health Sciences (top left region) moving through to the other regions. You can vote on each one, or skip ahead to Scalable Solutions to find our entry.
5. Our entry is called “LinkedIn for Organoids”.
6. Vote for us! And while you’re there, leave a comment or add a relevant citation by clicking “Add Evidence.”
7. If you’ve skipped over voting on some projects, when you close the bracket and re-open it you’ll have an opportunity to vote on entries you skipped.
We would also appreciate if you got the word out to your friends! Follow us and share our posts on LinkedIn.

Apr 19, 2023


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de-bi, co. is working with the University of Pittsburgh to explore commercialization of the technology related to this project. Find out more at de-bi, co.