Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) announces that Octagon Therapeutics has been awarded an Agilent Golden Ticket at LabCentral. The Golden Ticket was presented to Octagon during a virtual online event on March 24 and provides funding for one scientist’s lab bench space for a year, including the benefit of LabCentral's shared infrastructure and services.

The three semi-finalists, Octagon Therapeutics, Rizana Therapeutics, and Nuakea Therapeutics presented compelling and innovative research propositions. Ultimately, Octagon was chosen by a panel of judges consisting of Johannes Fruehauf, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder, and president of LabCentral; Darlene Solomon, Ph.D., senior vice president, and chief technology officer at Agilent; and Angelica Riemann, vice president of Agilent’s Chemistries and Supplies Division.

“Agilent is delighted to continue supporting LabCentral in its quest to provide an environment where promising biotech startups such as Octagon can thrive,” said Darlene Solomon. “The passion and ingenuity with which the Octagon team are approaching and advancing their research towards the precise treatment of autoimmune disease without suppressing the immune system has tremendous potential in improving human health.”  

"We are thrilled to have won the Agilent Golden Ticket," said Isaac Stoner, president, and chief executive officer of Octagon Therapeutics. "Octagon has identified important new biology related to the underlying causes of autoimmune disease. The analytical chemistry expertise and instrumentation that Agilent has provided to LabCentral will be critically important as we turn these insights into new medicines, and the vibrant LabCentral community will help to shape our company culture as we grow."

“It’s great to see Octagon awarded with Agilent’s 2021 Golden Ticket. We are excited about the potential of their autoimmune-therapeutics platform,” said Johannes Fruehauf. “Isaac and his team have been active members and contributors to our community since they launched Octagon at our LifeLab in 2017, and we look forward to supporting their ongoing progress at LabCentral.”

Octagon’s mission is to discover and develop better treatments for autoimmune disease. The immune cells that drive autoimmune disease are genetically identical to healthy immune cells but have become pathologically activated in specific ways. Octagon’s platform enables the identification of the hallmarks of immune dysregulation, allowing the precise treatment of autoimmune conditions without damaging healthy immune functioning. The ability to treat autoimmune disease’s underlying drivers without suppressing the immune system will be vital in the post-COVID world.

Agilent subject matter experts will provide Octagon guidance and expertise in methods development, including LC-MS/MS approaches, to assist their research. A platinum sponsor of LabCentral for the last three years, Agilent has equipped the facility with state-of-the-art technology, including a 1260 Infinity II Bio-inert HPLC Purification System with OpenLab Chromatography Data System 2 WorkStation, a 1290-6545XT AdvanceBio QTOF LC-MS System with MassHunter Walkup WorkStation, a 1290 Infinity I UHPLC System with OpenLab ChemStation, a 2100 Bioanalyzer System, and an XFe96 Cell Analysis System.

LabCentral is a non-profit institution founded in 2013 as a launchpad for high-potential life-sciences and biotech startups. Operating a total of 100,000 square feet in the heart of Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, LabCentral offers fully permitted laboratory and office space for as many as 70 startups comprising approximately 500 scientists and entrepreneurs.