From a high school physics class to biology, and from Maryland to the Midwest…Danny Griffin’s path to biotech company founder is full of “right” turns.
Danny Griffin is a graduate student at Kansas University, a bio-engineering researcher, and a startup founder. His company, Exodus Biosciences, is attempting to solve a very big problem.
That problem isn’t just a business opportunity to this 25 five-year-old that grew up in Maryland; it is a vision quest of sorts to transform how Multiple Sclerosis is diagnosed, treated, and ideally defeated. SPN spoke to him about his journey to date and what the future holds.
Danny grew up like many of us, a high school student that was unsure of his path ahead. He was interested in engineering early on, but a high school physics class quickly put out that fire. Still curious, Griffin shifted his focus to biology.
“The human body is an amazing machine” he said.
Griffin’s path led him to undergrad at Widener University in Pennsylvania. His freshman year his mother would be diagnosed with MS and his journey to set others free form this disease would begin.
“The big problem I saw with my mother’s treatment was the trial-and-error approach that is currently the standard. Patients are prescribed one drug that might work, but if it does not, they find they are six months into treatment and must basically start all over. Not to mention that there are potentially 17 different drugs that treat MS, making the traditional approach for diagnosing and treating MS scattershot at best.
“We are developing a panel of markers from whole blood to improve the inefficiencies in both diagnosis and treatment. Not only will we be able to diagnose MS earlier, but will be able to tailor the treatment options to individuals.”
Griffin’s vision doesn’t stop there. In fact, his research goals are to eliminate the effects of MS altogether.
“We have shown the ability to do so in animal models,” he said.
Griffin’s approach, if successful, could revolutionize the treatment of MS and add another successful biotech company to KU’s portfolio. When we asked Griffin how he came to KU, he said it was serendipity.
“After I took the GRE, I checked the opt-in box to receive recruitment mail from universities. I must have received hundreds of letters from universities across the country. For some reason, the one from KU peaked my interest,” Griffin stated.
Let it be known that if Exodus Biosciences and Danny Griffin’s vision of curing Multiple Sclerosis succeeds, the current negative perception of junk mail may need to change.
“I have been blessed to receive so much support on this journey from great professors and mentors such as Corey Berkland,” remarked Griffin. “When I got to KU, he basically said “grab a desk and we will figure this out.””
For more information about Exodus Biosciences click on http://www.exodusbiosciences.com.