New publication on TGFβ family of proteins in diabetes

Fairbanks founder Alan Schneyer, who was CEO until he passed away suddenly in November, 2020, had recently completed co-writing an article with Fairbanks Consultant Melissa Brown that has now been published in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism.

This new publication revisits an article they published in 2010 that summarized the role of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) family of proteins in diabetes. The new article adds new evidence and findings, and is largely based on data gathered since 2010 in their labs.

Read the article here.

Remembering Alan Schneyer

We are deeply saddened to announce that Fairbanks CEO Alan Schneyer passed away suddenly on November 18, 2020. Alan was an innovative scientist, a caring mentor, an eager colloborator, and a truly bold entrepreneur. 

As Dr. Joe Jerry, Science Director of the Pioneer Valley Life Science Institute, friend and colleague of Alan, wrote “He could see the potential for a completely new strategy to manage diabetes. This was to devise therapeutics to restore the function of the pancreatic beta cells rather than simply provide insulin by daily injections to patients. A grand idea, but he was unwilling to be satisfied with simply an idea and he committed himself to the task of building this new therapy.” (Read Dr Jerry’s tribute.)

Read more about Alan’s work in this remembrance by Dr. Dan Bernard in Endocrine News. 

Research is continuing at Fairbanks.  For more information, contact Elissa Brown at elissajoybrown@gmail.com or (617) 922-5394. 

Fairbanks Building Connections to Potential Partners and Collaborators

Fairbanks was selected this year to participate at the NIH Innovation Conference (NIC) and Life Sciences Summit (LSS). These are exciting opportunities to pitch to mentors, investors and possible interested partners.

At the October 13 NIC, Fairbanks CEO Alan Schneyer presented the company via the video linked below, and industry mentors provided evaluations and feedback. The mentors expressed interest and provided some very positive comments like “The idea of converting alpha cells to beta cells is compelling!”

NIC is sponsored by SEED (Small business Education and Entrepreneurial Development) in the NIH Office of Extramural Research, and Fairbanks is very grateful to SEED for organizing the event and coordinating connections.

Next up is the Life Sciences Summit, November 17-18, sponsored by the Center for Biotechnology. At this event, Fairbanks will present as part of the Emerging Company Showcase. Event organizers say “Each company featured in the Emerging Company Showcase was nominated, reviewed and invited to present based upon their innovative science and the quality of their management team.”

This will be a valuable opportunity to connect with potential partners and collaborators, and the company is excited to be part of it.

Pitch video delivered to October 13, 2020 NIH Innovation Conference by Fairbanks Pharmaceuticals CEO Alan Schneyer

Read Latest Abstract Based on Fairbanks Research

The abstract for the paper that Fairbanks CEO Dr. Alan Schneyer would have been discussing at the canceled ENDO 2020 meeting in March has now been published in Journal of the Endocrine Society. The abstract is titled “FSTL3 Neutralizing Antibodies Restore Function to Diabetic Mouse and Human Islets: A New Approach for Treating Diabetes”.

The studies that would have been presented include a determination of how the therapy works on its target FSTL3 as well as a demonstration that the therapy can restore insulin secretion to diabetic beta cells.  Animal studies are underway that hopefully will lead to human trials in the not too distant future.

Fairbanks Research Continues During Pandemic

From Fairbanks CEO Dr. Alan Schneyer:

When Governor Baker instituted the state of emergency in Massachusetts, Fairbanks remained in operation, with reduced staffing and limited contact in the laboratory, with the unfortunate result of decreased rate of progress. However with the recent award of a Payroll Protection Program loan, all Fairbanks employees are back at work, although with a limit of one technician per day to minimize chances of COVID-19 contagion.  We are very grateful for the long hours spent by Middlesex Savings Bank to approve, process, and submit our loan application.  

Despite our reduced presence during this period, we have continued our work toward a second generation antibody to FSTL3 and initiated a program to develop a monkey version of this antibody, which will fast-track our path to in vivo proof of concept.  With this new approach, our diabetes therapy will be a more attractive and de-risked opportunity for investors.  

Visit Fairbanks at ENDO 2020 (Updated)

UPDATE 3/11/20: the Endocrine Society has canceled ENDO 2020. Dr Schneyer’s abstract will be published by the Journal of the Endocrine Society; we will publish a link later in the spring when it is available.

If you’re attending this year’s Endocrine Society meeting in San Francisco, be sure to visit with Fairbanks CEO Dr. Alan Schneyer on March 30 at 9:15 AM at the “Entrepreneurship and Industry in Endocrinology” symposium promoting and discussing the entrepreneurial career path for society members.  Dr Schneyer will address topics including starting a company to develop a new endocrine-related therapy or technology and funding the company through various stages.  The session will be followed by a networking opportunity for additional contact with the speakers. 

As highlighted recently in Endocrine News, Dr Schneyer has been promoting entrepreneurism in discussion with trainees at numerous institutions about careers in science.  Part of this advocacy has been focused on creating an entrepreneurial track at professional scientific meetings such as the Endocrine Society in which he has been a member for his entire career. 

At ENDO 2019, Dr Schneyer participated in a well-attended symposium highlighting three Endocrine Society members who have started companies and were at distinct phases of therapy development and commercialization. 

On March 29th at 11:00 Dr. Schneyer will also present research and development progress at Fairbanks in developing a novel therapy for diabetes.  March will be an exciting time for Fairbanks, stay tuned for more details!

Fairbanks Celebrates 5th Anniversary

On November 22, 2019 the co-Founders and employees of Fairbanks Pharmaceuticals celebrated the company’s 5th anniversary at a Springfield Thunderbirds hockey game.

Clockwise from upper left: Co-founders Alan Schneyer and Elissa Brown embrace the Thunderbird mascot; Nolan, Alexa and Andre; past and present employees including Danielle; Lara and kids and Melissa; Alden and family.

Here’s to a repeat in 5 years with a larger crowd!

Fairbanks chosen to pitch at RESI

Fairbanks is honored to have been selected for the 2019 RESI Pitch Challenge at the RESI Boston First Coast Innovators’ Gathering. Fairbanks will pitch before a panel of 5 investors on September 11 at the Westin Copley Place in Boston.

CEO Alan Schneyer said, “We are looking forward to this fantastic opportunity to convey the value of the novel diabetes therapy being developed by Fairbanks. Please join us for the pitch and meet us at RESI!”

Fairbanks Continues to Grow

Fairbanks employees in the laboratory in Springfield: From left, Nolan Meyer, Alden Richter, Alexa Lopez, with CEO Alan Schneyer

Fairbanks welcomes its newest employee Alden Richter to our growing company.  Alden is currently a Massachusetts Life Science Center intern and just finished his Master’s Degree Program in Applied Molecular Biology at University of Massachusetts – Amherst.  His project for the Master’s program was focused on cloning and expressing canine FSTL3 and he is continuing that work as an intern at Fairbanks.  He is also using his biotechnology skills to express recombinant versions of our top candidate antibody therapies.

Alden completed his undergraduate degree in Microbiology at University of Massachusetts – Amherst in May 2018.  Prior to entering college, Alden served in the US Army as a combat engineer including a tour in Afghanistan.

The addition of Alden will allow us to expand our research and development of diabetes therapies to include companion animal diabetes treatments.  Cloning dog and cat FSTL3 and expressing protein is the first step in the process and we are excited to have Alden’s expertise which will accelerate progress on this project.

Fairbanks at BIO 2019

Fairbanks Pharmaceuticals at BIO 2019 Innovation Zone

CEO Alan Schneyer and COO Elissa Brown were busy today working the Innovation Zone at BIO 2019 in Philadelphia, meeting with potential partners and working to raise investment for future development of their technologies.

Fairbanks was able to display in the Innovation Zone because the company was awarded an SBIR grant in 2018. As BIO describes it, the Zone enables “Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funded early-stage biotech companies to showcase their cutting-edge technologies, form long-term partnerships, and begin to raise funds in the private sector.”