Anna Perdrix Rosell, a third year PhD student at the Crick, has made it on to this year's Forbes 30 under 30 list for European science and healthcare for co-founding a biotech start-up.
At the same time as carrying out her PhD in Ilaria Malanchi's lab at the Crick and Victoria Sanz-Moreno's lab at King's College London, Anna has been developing her start-up, Sixfold Bioscience, which aims to improve the way we deliver drugs to cancer patients.
Her co-founders are George Foot, a PhD student in Plant Sciences at Cambridge University and Zuzanna Brzosko, who was recently awarded her PhD in Neuroscience from Cambridge University.
"Getting cancer drugs to the right part of the body is one of the biggest challenges in treating the disease," says Anna. "We're developing customizable RNA nanoparticles to safely and effectively deliver a variety of therapeutic and diagnostic molecules to tumours, without damaging healthy cells. This has the potential to increase the effectiveness of drugs and reduce side-effects, which would drastically improve treatments for cancer patients."
The trio have secured initial investment and are currently working on the project full-time as part of the start-up accelerator programme, Y Combinator, in San Francisco. At the end of the three-month programme, Anna and her co-founders will present their preliminary data to an auditorium full of Silicon Valley investors, with the hope of gaining more funding to continue pursuing the project.
"My supervisors have been extremely supportive and I am so grateful to them for letting me take some time off to pursue my start-up," says Anna. "I really can't thank them enough for this opportunity."
"The Crick Translation team, particularly Veronique and Howard, have been amazing at providing practical advice and motivation. I'm also grateful to Sally and Caroline from the Academic team who have been really supportive from the start."