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Stanford University non-profit start-up StartX has launched StartX Med Covid-19 task force to mobilise 70 experts in the university’s community to collaborate on and fast track preventive, diagnostic and treatment solutions against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The task force will also reach out to government and regulatory agencies, as well as healthcare providers, to find out how they can contribute to protecting public health needs in this emergency situation.

StartX CEO Joseph Huang said: “As the number of positive cases continue to soar in the outbreak of Covid-19, there is an imminent need for reducing barriers companies are experiencing with therapeutic medical breakthroughs needing to be deployed.

“We’ve always said that our community of industry leaders can achieve more as a group than as individuals and this is a prime example of how quickly StartX companies and the Stanford entrepreneurship ecosystem can mobilize and come together in times of crisis.”

The core of the prevention work stream is developing new anti-viral drugs against Covid-19 and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) linked with it. Gen1E, for example, is focusing on treating ARDS, while Globavir BioSciences’ GBV006 undermines viral assembly in cells.

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The tech-focused start-ups will look at leveraging their platforms against this novel coronavirus outbreak. For example, Bioz will provide free access to its artificial intelligence-powered search engine. KangarooHealth allows patients to remotely monitor their symptoms, supporting successful quarantine management, and Augmedix facilitate digital doctors’ appointments to mitigate the burden on healthcare providers.

StartX’s Stanford community includes over 1,500 individuals, and connected companies have raised a total of $8bn in funding to date. It runs similarly to an accelerator or incubator, by supporting entrepreneurs with education and access to investor, but, it does not hold an equity stake in its companies.

StartX Med is the medical wing of the start-up and its scientists are focusing on clinical research; the 135 companies in the programme are currently achieving around six US Food and Drug Administration approvals annually.