Infixion announced its third NIH SBIR Phase 1 grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Infixion has received two previous NIH SBIR Phase 1 grants for NF1 drug discovery (2020 and 2021), and this third NIH grant will enable Infixion to further advance efforts to correct for the lack of normal NF1 protein (called neurofibromin), a critical regulatory protein that is lacking in people living with NF1.

Infixion’s three NIH grants all focus on developing gene-targeted therapeutics impacting the NF1 protein life-cycle, providing a multipronged drug discovery effort.  In parallel, Infixion is advancing the development of scientific tools for NF1, such as a new monoclonal antibody to detect and measure NF1 protein, supporting further NF1 research community collaboration.  Herb Sarnoff, Infixion’s CEO and NF1 ‘dadvocate’, noted: “We are very proud to have the continued support and confidence of the NIH to help Infixion’s ongoing research to develop a revolutionary treatment for people living with NF1, and to support the NF1 research community wherever possible.”

The mission of Infixion Bioscience is to discover and develop therapeutics that radically improve the lives of people living with Neurofibromatosis Type 1.

Read the full press release here.

(Philadelphia, PA – June, 2022)

iNFixion is working to discover a new therapeutic for Neurofibromatosis (NF1) by correcting for the lack of normal NF1 protein (neurofibromin), a problem that happens to people born with a mutation in the NF1 gene. One key tool in measuring NF1 protein is the monoclonal antibody (mAb), of which high quality versions simply are not available today.  After launching a project in late 2019 to pursue the design and development of a new and improved mAb for NF1 protein, iNFixion was proud to present its initial research at the annual NF Conference, sponsored by the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF), in Philadelphia, PA from June 17-21, 2022.

Mutations in the NF1 gene result in a lack of normal NF1 protein, a condition known as protein haploinsufficiency and which drives NF1 symptoms. As a start-up company, iNFixion is working to identify drugs that restore normal NF1 protein expression levels, thus treating and preventing a wide range of symptoms attributed to NF1. In order to do this, it is critical to have accurate measurement tools for neurofibromin that are both selective (recognize only NF1) and sensitive (can detect small amounts and changes).  In research presented by our Principal Scientist Dr. Michelle Mattson-Hoss (project PI), the new antibody was shown to provide highly selective and sensitive detection of neurofibromin, and to do so across a variety of important assay methods, including western blotting, ELISAs, and immunohistochemistry (IHC). The antibody is performing superior to current commercially available NF1 antibodies, and has now also gone through an exhaustive IHC qualification study executed by Dr. Michael Frost, a board certified pathologist and scientific advisor to iNFixion.

Partially funded by a grant from the Neurofibromatosis Therapeutics Acceleration Program (, iNFixion partnered on this project with Abterra Biosciences, a San Diego-based company using state-of-the-art antibody discovery technology, and pioneered the use of full length NF1 protein (as the antibody immunogen) which had been recently developed by the Frank McCormick Lab at UCSF in collaboration with Dr. Dominic Esposito of the Frederick National Lab.

This new antibody provides a significant advance in the ability of NF researchers to study NF1 protein expression. As noted by iNFixion’s CEO, Herb Sarnoff: “Once available, this new NF1 monoclonal antibody should prove valuable in a wide range of NF1 drug discovery efforts, including any therapy targeting the restoration of NF1 protein levels.” With further validation of antibody performance, including monitoring manufacturing variation, and assessing cross reactivity with NF1 protein in other species, iNFixion is now working to deliver this valuable new tool to NF1 researchers worldwide by early 2023, thus helping to drive continued progress toward treatments for NF1.

iNFixion Bioscience announced today that it had been granted its second NIH Phase 1 SBIR Grant award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).  This 18-month grant, titled “Inhibition of NF1 Protein Degradation as a Treatment for NF1 Haploinsufficiency” is focused on identifying small molecule compounds that impact the rate of intracellular NF1 protein degradation.  This grant includes funding for an 18-month project that will be launched immediately, and includes continued collaboration with both the University of Wisconsin Biotechnology Center and Scripps Research in San Diego.

The core team at iNFixion Bioscience has successfully completed the prestigious NIH I-Corps™ commercialization program.  In addition to a commercialization curriculum, the program included teh requirement of conducting interviews with over 100 people from across the NF1 and Rare Drug ecosystems.  These interviews included: Adults with NF1, NF1 parents, NF clinic directors and specialists, rare disease and pharma professionals, and potential investment partners.  Using the I-Corps structure and methodology, the Infixion core team was able to crystallize its vision, improve their understanding of adult vs. pediatric requirements, establish a priority in terms of targeting NF1 symptoms, and solidify a tentative decision to pursue a companion biomarker program. The core team members also learned valuable presentation and teamwork skills while under the stress of conducting 106 half-hour interviews in just 7 weeks. 

To learn more about I-Corps™ click here:

iNFixion Bioscience has been awarded a NIH (NINDS) Phase 1 SBIR grant to pursue proof-of-principal research into studying the mechanisms and identifying drug compounds that impact transcriptional regulation of the NF1 gene. The grant aims include the development of a new NF1 reporter cell line, high throughput screening of multiple compound libraries, and the in vitro validation of compound hits on NF1 protein pathway effectors. With the announcement of this Phase 1 grant award, iNFixion Bioscience has hired its first full-time PhD scientist researcher (Dr. Michelle Mattson-Hoss, PhD) and has been accepted as a resident company at the prestigious San Diego JLABS innovation accelerator.  Hands-on laboratory experimentation is now underway.

To learn more about JLABS click here!


iNFixion Bioscience announced today its commitment to developing a new monoclonal antibody against NF1 protein. This NF1-specific reagent will be developed in rabbits using full-length NF1 protein as the immunogen, with the program goal being to establish a more sensitive and specific NF1 monoclonal antibody than is commercially available today. This NF1 research tool, once developed and validated, will be made available to the NF1 research community, on an at-cost basis.  This work is being developed in partnership with Abterra Biosciences (previously Digital Proteomics) and is financially supported by a partial grant from the NF Therapeutics Acceleration Program (NTAP).

The University of Wisconsin Biotechnology Center (UWBC) and iNFixion Bioscience have launched a multi-year collaboration to execute assay development and library screening focused on identifying small molecule NF1 transcriptional regulators.

iNFixion Bioscience announced ongoing collaborations with individual researchers from the University of Arizona, the University of Alabama Huntsville, and the Broad Institute in order to build tools to study NF1 haploinsufficiency.  These projects include developing machine learning models to identify compounds impacting NF1 gene expression and the development of synthetic transcription factors to specifically increase NF1 protein expression during in vitro experimentation.  These efforts are being supported in part by grants from NF Northeast and NF North Central, both regional members of NF Network, a national organization advocating for and supporting individuals and families impacted by Neurofibromatosis.