Reed Jobs, son of the late Steve Jobs, has launched Yosemite, a venture firm dedicated to fighting cancer through biotechnology. With $200 million in funding from investors like MIT and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Yosemite aims to make a significant impact on the lives of the 18.1 million cancer patients worldwide.
Reed Jobs’ venture firm, Yosemite, aims to make cancer non-lethal in our lifetimes through innovative biotech solutions.
Fighting Cancer and Making a Difference
Reed Jobs is no stranger to the devastating effects of cancer. His father’s battle with pancreatic cancer inspired him to dedicate his life to finding a cure. During a recent conference, Jobs expressed his passion for making cancer non-lethal within our lifetime.
A Unique Structure
Yosemite stands out not only for its focus on cancer research but also for its unique structure. Jobs has allocated 2.5% of the venture fund to a donor-advised non-profit entity, which provides grants without taking any intellectual property. This structure was first piloted at Emerson Collective, an organization founded by Jobs’ mother, Laurene Powell Jobs.
This approach allows Yosemite to collaborate with top researchers and support around 500 labs to de-risk science, transforming it into viable companies. Moreover, Yosemite benefits from a vast network of key opinion leaders in the academic ecosystem.
Promising Advances in Cancer Therapies
Reed Jobs is optimistic about the development of next-generation therapies, such as immunotherapies and gene-editing therapies. He shares his excitement about the progress made in the treatment of colorectal cancer, which has transitioned from a poor prognosis to a widely treatable and highly survivable condition through immunotherapy.
Jobs also highlights the potential of liquid biopsies for early cancer detection. These non-invasive tests, along with the use of artificial intelligence in medical imaging, offer greater precision in identifying cancer markers. Catching cancer in its early stages provides more treatment options and better outcomes.
Epigenetic Engineering: A New Approach
Another area of interest for Reed Jobs is epigenetic engineering. This technique allows scientists to manipulate gene expression without altering the DNA itself. By turning on or off specific areas of the genome, diseases caused by gene expression changes, such as autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases, can be tackled.
Jobs believes that the dial-like control offered by epigenetic engineering opens up possibilities for addressing a wide range of diseases more effectively than traditional methods.
Investments in Healthcare
Prior to launching Yosemite, Reed Jobs made investments through Emerson Collective for eight years. Notable achievements include a grant to Yale that ensured demographically proportional representation in clinical trials across the state. Jobs is also proud of the success of Tune Therapeutics, a company focused on epigenetic editing, which he helped incubate through Yosemite.
While Jobs acknowledges the challenges of developing new cancer treatments, he remains optimistic. He believes that major cancers, such as lung, breast, prostate, and colon cancer, will see significant decreases in mortality within the next 20 years.
The fight against cancer is a complex journey, but Reed Jobs and his venture firm, Yosemite, are determined to make a lasting impact and improve the lives of millions affected by this devastating disease.