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Discovering New Treatments for Rare Genetic Diseases with Modelis CEO and Co-Founder James Doyle

Once Upon A Gene

Discovering New Treatments for Rare Genetic Diseases with Modelis CEO and Co-Founder James Doyle

July 1, 2021

Discovering New Treatments for Rare Genetic Diseases with Modelis CEO and Co-Founder James Doyle

ONCE UPON A GENE – EPISODE 089

Discovering New Treatments for Rare Genetic Diseases with Modelis CEO and Co-Founder James Doyle

Exposed first hand to research of genetic diseases and the lack of information known, my guest quickly realized the need to streamline the process of translating genetic data into therapeutic discoveries. James Doyle is the Co-Founder and CEO of Modelis whose mission is to rapidly advance personalized drug discovery for rare genetic diseases. 

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS

What is your background and what drew you to this field of research?

I’m a scientist by training, but an entrepreneur by spirit. My background is in molecular genetics and I like to understand how genes work, what they do and how mutations of genes influence function and lead to a disease. Along with a couple of colleagues, Modelis was founded which is a biotech company that does drug screening and translational drug discovery for rare genetic disorders using small animal models to accelerate the process. 

What is translational drug discovery?

It’s the bench to bedside approach of taking findings from a lab to a clinical, real world setting where they can have a real world impact. 

What is the process for a patient organization or advocacy group who is seeking research?

An initial feasibility study is conducted on small animal models to see if the gene is a good candidate for the models. Genetic avatars of the patients are created with worms using genetic engineering techniques. The animals are used to better study the disorder, the underlying causes of the disease and drug screening. The worms are used to rapidly discover drugs with a high translational potential. The next step is to validate the findings in zebra fish and then potentially a rodent model to further validate drugs.

How does Modelis help to accelerate research?

For a lot of disorders, it’s rarely a one-size-fits-all equation. Research can be accelerated through leveraging different approaches in a complimentary manner, like exploring drug repurposing with small animal models while also pursuing gene therapy. 

What is the cost for a patient organization who is seeking drug research?

It depends, but it’s a customized approach based on each specific disorder. We work with groups through venture philanthropy or social impact investing and strive for collaborative wins that can be shared back with the community who initiated the research.

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED

Once Upon Gene TV – Disorder Channel

https://www.thedisordercollection.com/

CONNECT WITH MODELIS

Modelis Website

https://modelis.ca/

Modelis on Twitter

https://twitter.com/ModelisLabs

Modelis on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/ModelisLabs/

Modelis on LinkedIn

https://ca.linkedin.com/company/modelis-inc

TUNE INTO THE ONCE UPON A GENE PODCAST

Spotify

https://open.spotify.com/show/5Htr9lt5vXGG3ac6enxLQ7

Apple Podcasts

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/once-upon-a-gene/id1485249347

Stitcher

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/once-upon-a-gene

Overcast

https://overcast.fm/itunes1485249347/once-upon-a-gene

CONNECT WITH EFFIE PARKS

Website

https://effieparks.com/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/OnceUponAGene

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/onceuponagene.podcast/?hl=en

Built Ford Tough Facebook Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1877643259173346/

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