SynBio and AI for Discovery: David Younger and Randolph Lopez on The Long Run

Today’s guests on The Long Run are the co-founders of Seattle-based A-Alpha Bio — David Younger and Randolph Lopez.

David Younger, co-founder and CEO, A-Alpha Bio

David is the CEO and Randolph is the chief technology officer.

The company was founded in 2017 as a spinout from the University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design. The company has built a platform for doing high-volume synthetic biology to make protein constructs that are the basis for evaluating protein-protein interactions at scale. Those interactions are then analyzed with machine learning to identify drug candidates with certain optimal characteristics – for instance, the ability to bind with a certain epitope with high affinity.

A-Alpha has sought to apply the work to its own drug candidates, and on projects with partners. Gilead Sciences has sought help with identifying long-acting biologic therapies for HIV. A-Alpha has also announced partnerships with Amgen, Bristol Myers Squibb and Kymera Therapeutics to develop molecular glue therapies.

Randolph Lopez, co-founder and chief technology officer, A-Alpha Bio

In this conversation, we spoke about the technology idea, but also how David and Randolph met, how their skills meshed, and how they thought about starting and sequentially building the company as a couple of young scientific entrepreneurs who weren’t automatically on speed-dial with the top VC firms of Kendall Square and Sand Hill Road.


Before we get started,

I’m looking for a business representative. This person will be asked to sell group subscriptions to Timmerman Report, sell sponsorship packages to The Long Run podcast, and negotiate my speaking engagements. This position will pay a base salary plus commissions. The ideal candidate is someone seeking to grow their knowledge and network in the biotech industry. Interested? Email me at luke@timmermanreport.com

Now please join me and David Younger and Randolph Lopez on The Long Run.