← 2018 Pitch Applicants

Dan Close

Dan Close is the co-founder and CSO of 490 BioTech, a Knoxville-based biotechnology company making glowing human cells that revolutionize scientific research. Each year, the pharmaceutical industry wastes over $24 Billion developing drugs that turn out to be ineffective or unsafe. In fact, over 99% of all new drug candidates that pass the first stage of screening ultimately fail because of ineffective testing that requires scientists to predict effectiveness based on a single snapshot of information. 490 BioTech enables these companies to better identify safe, effective drugs by making cells continuously produce a visual light signal that adjusts in real-time to represent changes in cellular health. Healthy, happy cells glow bright, sick cells get dim, and dead cells are dark. By providing more information through continuous observation, earlier in the pipeline than was previously possible, 490’s glowing cells facilitate the development of safer, more effective, and less expensive medicines.