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The Foundations of Orphan Drugs Webinar series

Name: Ethan Perlstein

Webinar: Funding Orphan Drugs

Title: Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Company: Perlstein Labs

Ethan Perlstein created Perlstein Labs in 2013 after completing a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology at Harvard, followed by a stint as Lewis-Sigler Fellow at Princeton University. After feeling the full force of the academic jobs market, complemented by funding cuts, Ethan decided to go it alone and set up his own lab. After encountering the rare disease community on twitter, Ethan was convinced that solving orphan disease puzzles was the way forward. He created Perlstein Labs with the intention of leveraging primordial disease models (yeast, worms, flies, and fish), something not yet done in the orphan industry, in order to discover and develop effective therapies for orphan drugs.

It’s not just his approach to setting up a lab that has proved to be a departure from the norm. Perlstein labs has recently raised $2 million in seed funding, through a combination of crowd-funding, angel investors, and venture capital. The series A funding round was led by orphan drug developer Retrophin, a partnership started through Twitter!, and included investment from a family fund whose owners are personally affected by a rare disease.

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