Episode 58 of Season 4 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Alok Tayi, Co-Founder & CEO of Vibe Bio.
Listen below, and subscribe to The Scoop on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Email feedback and revision requests to [email protected]
One biotech startup is trying to use blockchain technology to revolutionize the way potential treatments for rare diseases are identified for funding and development.
According to Vibe Bio CEO Alok Tayi:
“Vibe is a community of patients, scientists and partners that help identify promising treatments for rare diseases and other overlooked diseases, and fund them in innovative ways.”
In this episode of The Scoop, Tayi shares his vision for how Vibe Bio aims to disrupt the centralized control of big pharma, and explains why a decentralized autonomous organization (or ‘DAO’) is the optimal solution for organizing the members of the Vibe community.
According to Tayi, the biology of rare diseases is often understood, but biotech companies do not have enough incentive to fund research given the limited financial upside. As Tayi notes:
“There actually ends up being a myriad of different candidate medicines with promise that are sitting on shelves today, but simply lack the capital and the focus to be able to develop them.”
This is the problem Tayi hopes to address through Vibe Bio. By using a DAO structure, Vibe Bio is able to put forward governance proposals to identify promising treatment options. $VIBE token holders can then vote on which treatments will get funded via the proceeds of the DAO's token sale.
As Tayi explains, this decentralized approach empowers patients who would otherwise be unable to get assistance from centralized biotech companies:
“When you start to move away from a traditional sort of financing model to one that's community led, patients can now be in the driver's seat of deciding what medicines to pursue, what disease areas we should try to treat, not profit or politics.”
Earlier this week, Vibe announced it received $12 million in a funding round led by Initialized Capital, which also included participation from prominent angel investors Naval Ravikant and Balaji Srinivasan, as well as 6th Man Ventures — the venture firm helmed by The Block Co-Founder Mike Dudas — amongst others.
During this episode, Chaparro and Tayi also discuss:
- Tayi’s personal inspiration for Vibe Bio
- The intersection of crypto and biotechnology
- How DAOs enable decentralized coordination
This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Fireblocks, Coinbase Prime & Cross River
Fireblocks is an enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Fireblocks enables exchanges, lending desks, custodians, banks, trading desks, and hedge funds to securely scale digital asset operations through the Fireblocks Network and MPC-based Wallet Infrastructure. Fireblocks serves over 725 financial institutions, has secured the transfer of over $1.5 trillion in digital assets, and has a unique insurance policy that covers assets in storage & transit. For more information, please visit www.fireblocks.com.
About Coinbase Prime
Coinbase Prime is an integrated solution that provides institutional investors with an advanced trading platform, secure custody, and prime services to manage all their crypto assets in one place. Coinbase Prime fully integrates crypto trading and custody on a single platform, and gives clients the best all-in pricing in their network using their proprietary Smart Order Router and algorithmic execution. For more information, visit www.coinbase.com/prime.
About Cross River
Cross River is powering today’s most innovative crypto companies, with banking and payments solutions you can rely on, including fiat on/off ramp solutions. Whether you are a crypto exchange, NFT marketplace, or wallet, Cross River’s API-based, all-in-one platform enables banking as a service, ACH & wire transfers, push-to-card disbursements, real-time payments, and virtual accounts and subledgers. Request your fiat on/off ramp solution now at crossriver.com/crypto.
© 2023 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.