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Support translational science and transform discoveries into cures

By funding research projects on Molecule, you actively contribute to a better future for humanity. Your investments support scientific breakthroughs that have the potential to improve healthcare, address environmental challenges, and drive innovation in various industries.

Benefits

For Funders

This is what Molecule and the ecosystem has to offer you.

01

Impactful Contributions

Impactful Contributions

Impactful Contributions

As a funder at Molecule, you have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to scientific research and development. By supporting research projects within the Molecule ecosystem, you directly contribute to advancements in fields such as Longevity, Synthetic Biology, Women's Health, Psychedelics, Cryogenics and Hairloss. Your investments have the potential to drive positive change and improve the lives of individuals and communities.

02

Access to Cutting-Edge Research

Access to Cutting-Edge Research

Access to Cutting-Edge Research

By funding projects on Molecule, you gain access to cutting-edge research and scientific discoveries. You will be at the forefront of knowledge and innovation, staying informed about the latest breakthroughs in various fields of study. This access can provide you with unique insights, networking opportunities, and potential collaborations with renowned researchers and scientists.

03

Transparent and Accountable Ecosystem

Diverse Investment Opportunities

Transparent and Accountable Ecosystem

Transparency and accountability are core principles at Molecule. As a funder, you can expect a transparent ecosystem where information about research projects, funding utilization, and outcomes is readily available. This transparency fosters trust and allows you to track the progress of projects you have supported, ensuring that your investments are being utilized effectively and ethically.

04

Engaging in a Collaborative Community

Engaging in a Collaborative Community

Engaging in a Collaborative Community

As a funder at Molecule, you become part of a collaborative community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for advancing scientific discovery. You can engage in discussions, share ideas, and collaborate with researchers, scientists, and fellow funders. This community provides a unique platform for networking, knowledge-sharing, and fostering meaningful connections in the world of science.

$30M+

Funds in the Ecosystem

17+

Research projects funded

15.7K+

Community Members

For funders

Fund Science

By funding you are empowering researchers and scientists, you play a crucial role in shaping a future where scientific discoveries benefit all and where people have control over their own health and well-being.

Ecosystem Overview

Decentralised global communities of science or BioDAOs that are part of Bio.xyz

Funding Entity
Category
Treasury
Total Projects
Funded
Token
Longevity
$ 11,409,772
5
-
$ 1,418,000
VITA
Reproductive Health
$ 230,041
1
-
$ 120,200
ATH
Hairloss
$ 18,280,323
1
-
$ 119,000
HAIR
Synthetic Biology
$ 550,000
-
£ 228,000
GROW
Psychedelics
$ 100,000
3
-
$ 6,000
-
Cryopreservation
$ 200,000
-
$ 35,000
CRYO
For Funders

IP-NFTs

Discover and contribute to advancements in fields such as longevity, reproductive health, hair-loss, cryopreservation or psychedelics. Find cutting edge projects and new opportunities.

Collaborate

Engage in Collaboration

Actively participate in the DeSci / Molecule community by collaborating with researchers, and fellow funders. Share your expertise, insights, and network to contribute to the collective intelligence that drives innovation.

Science Successfully Funded

Our most recent and exciting research projects that have successfully secured funding.

Learn

Learn more about Molecule

Stay informed and inspired. Explore Molecule’s news and fresh content.

Bridging Biology and Blockchain: ValleyDAO Funds Synthetic Biology Research at Imperial College London
In an exciting first step for ValleyDAO, Dr Rodrigo Ledesma Amaro has received funding to engineer oleaginous yeast to sustainably produce oils at an industrial scale, via an IP-NFT. Rodrigo’s work lights the way for future synthetic biology researchers looking to receive funding from ValleyDAO.
Ella McCarthy-Page, Albert Anis
Aug 7, 2023
min read

The field of synthetic biology brings what may have once been considered a science fiction plotline into the realms of reality. The coalescence of engineering and biology sees scientists utilize gene editing technologies to redesign and reprogram living cells to exhibit novel functions, offering up a host of solutions that would otherwise not be possible. With over 100 scientific articles and 5 patents, Dr Rodrigo Ledsma Amaro is an established leader in the field of synthetic biology, with a particular focus on metabolic engineering and microbial biotechnology. 

‘I saw the potential of microorganisms and their versatility to be engineered to produce, in a sustainable manner, everything we need and we currently make from petrochemicals (e.g. food ingredients) or damaging agricultural practices (e.g. palm oil). 
-Dr Rodrigo Ledesma Amaro

It is this work that led Rodrigo to ValleyDAO, a recent graduate of the bio.xyz program. They share a common mission; to utilize synthetic biology to create innovative approaches to environmental and societal challenges. ValleyDAO has committed £228 000 to Rodrigo’s lab at Imperial College London in exchange for a portion of the intellectual property produced, by minting their first IP-NFT. The funds will go towards Rodrigo’s work in optimizing oil extraction from oleaginous yeast. The project embodies ValleyDAO’s vision of supporting transformative scientific advancements that promise a sustainable and resilient future.

 "This model is more than just about funding. It allows us to publicly present our ideas, and if they resonate with the community, secure potential funding. In essence, ValleyDAO is democratizing the way scientific research is perceived, valued, and supported."
- Dr Rodrigo Ledesma Amaro
Dr Rodrigo Ledesma-Amaro

Improved Lipid Production in Yeasts

Lipids, colloquially known as fats or oils, are used in food production, as well as the cosmetics and fuel industry. At present, we use animal- and vegetable-originated lipids in these industries - unfortunately the sourcing of these lipids is done through unsustainable practices such as palm oil harvesting. Microbes provide a favorable alternative but come at a much higher price tag. 

Yarrowia lipolytica is a species of oleaginous yeast which is known for its naturally high lipid accumulation, and is the subject of Rodrigo’s work. By bioengineering these oleaginous yeasts, scientists can further increase their oil yield, providing a sustainable source of fatty acids which are essential to the food industry. As it stands, Rodrigo and his team of 30 scientists at Imperial College London have pioneered a synbio approach that causes these oils to be secreted out of the yeast cells and into the culture broth, bypassing the extraction step, which is the cause behind the high costs of microbial oil production. While this Proof-of-Concept research has established a viable pathway to improving lipid harvesting, the process itself needs improvement. This is where the funds from ValleyDAO will be essential! The team will continue their research surrounding the process, as well as investigate the possibility of a continuous fermentation process. Continual fermentation and oil collection will mean that the large vats of yeast will not need to be processed additionally in order to extract oils, creating a more energy and carbon-efficient technique. If successful, lipid harvesting costs in Yarrowia lipolytica will be reduced by up-to 70%.

A conceptual representation, generated by MidJourney, of lipid particles being secreted through a cell membrane

Commercial Use of Microbial Oils

Edible oil practices are responsible for environmental degradation through destructive farming processes as well as energy-intensive methodology. With a growing population, the need for edible oils is only increasing, signifying that Rodrigo’s research is not only ethical but also well-placed in a growing industry. In creating methods to increase oil production and extraction in yeast, foundations are being laid for further research, with the potential to create sustainable biofuels which would help mitigate the ravaging effects of global warming and climate change.

Collaboration Opportunities

Currently, numerous companies are working on producing food oils and fats through microbial means in a cost-efficient manner, but face issues of scalability in their manufacturing processes. As industrial biotechnology companies scale up their production, they often encounter challenges in maintaining the efficiency and viability of microorganisms used, as well as recovering the products they produce. “Throughout this project's lifetime, we want to invite these companies to the table to collaborate with us on this project,” says Albert Anis, core lead at ValleyDAO. 

Why IP-NFT?

IP-NFT-based financing ensures that any resulting Intellectual Property (IP) from a research project is governed by the ValleyDAO community, using the DAO’s native governance token, GROW.

By doing so, ValleyDAO is not only directly involved in sourcing, reviewing, and voting on which projects should be funded but also in the licensing and governance of the resulting IP. This provides a more democratic IP-management strategy, fostering the direct participation of synthetic biology enthusiasts in the funding and translation of a research project. The impact of this novel approach extends beyond the financial realm. As Rodrigo notes, "ValleyDAO's ability to bridge the gap between science and the broader community fosters a genuine interest in, and support for, future discoveries."

IP-NFTs provide several downstream benefits for the resulting IP. First, given the record of IP ownership is on a public ledger, IP record of ownership is open, increasing the discoverability of IP. Second, given the rights of IP are held within smart contracts, researchers globally can collaborate without the need to trust one another, with rights enforcement via code. In addition, IP-NFTs enable greater transactability, with programmable sublicenses and without the need for traditional legal agreements, with terms such as royalty and milestone payments being automatable. 

The IP-NFT is named SavedApe: Microbial Lipid Production with Synthetic Biology and the image represents a playful allegory of humans and orangutans - affected by deforestation due to palm oil production - collaborating to develop sustainable solutions in a lab environment, signifying the commitment to replace harmful practices with sustainable bioengineered alternatives.

A Call to Fellow SynBio Scientists

ValleyDAO has started its journey in funding world-changing science with a bang and has no intention of slowing down. They are looking to support academic research projects with up to $250k that have the potential to create a widespread climate, food, or environmental impact. If this is of interest to you, apply now by filling out this form.

If you are interested in the research outcomes of this project, reach out to ValleyDAO at people@valleydao.bio to learn more about how you can collaborate. Alternatively, join the conversation on their Twitter and Discord

AthenaDAO: Demystifying the ‘Biological Clock’ & Menopause with IP-NFTs
In a promising step for all women, AthenaDAO has committed $120K to Dr Mario Cordero’s work in ovarian aging. By funding overlooked research areas, AthenaDAO pushes the needle of women’s health forward, inviting all to contribute.
Ella McCarthy-Page
Aug 1, 2023
min read

As the world changes, many people are choosing to have children later in life. While the term ‘biological clock’ gets thrown around loosely, the reality is that very few people are educated about or prepared for the fertility issues that can ensue.  

Ovarian aging is a multi-step process, culminating in menopause, and a complete inability to bear children. The trait is governed by several factors including age, genetics, lifestyle, health conditions, medical treatments, and weight - simply put, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ model. Countless women are sent home from fertility doctors with deep emotional, physical and financial wounds, but no answers as to why they are struggling to fall pregnant. AthenaDAO exists to advocate for all those impacted by reproductive decline (among other things) and is vivaciously pursuing solutions.

Estimates suggest that one in six people experience fertility issues during their lifetime. Dr Mario Cordero and his wife formed part of this number; after suffering problems in conceiving due to ovarian aging the two had to turn to fertility treatments. Their story ended happily with a beautiful daughter named Martina, but the experience roused something in Mario, leading him to dedicate his life to the field of ovarian aging. Having been at the final stages of the fertility treatment pipeline, Mario understands that the work done in a laboratory needs to be able to be transported out of a petri dish and to patients, in order for it to make a recognisable impact in peoples’ lives. It is this sentiment that rang true to AthenaDAO, which primarily focuses on funding translational research to improve the female experience. AthenaDAO has dedicated $120 000 to Mario and his work with Pablo de Olavide University to combat ovarian aging. 

Dr Mario Cordero in his lab in Seville, Spain

The Role of Inflammation in Ovarian Aging

Chronic inflammation is hugely detrimental to our health. In fact, it is one of the infamous and well-recognized ‘Hallmarks of Aging’ which detail the primary risk factors that result in a bodily decline. Unsurprisingly, inflammation in the ovaries is dangerous yet frequently overlooked. It is a cause of a Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR), which renders women infertile. 

As a recognized expert in the field of inflammation in reproductive longevity, the funding from AthenaDAO will allow Mario to tackle the root of inflammation responsible for a diminishing ovarian reserve, via the inhibition of the cGAS-STING pathway. Using state-of-the-art animal models and having access to patient tissue samples, Mario's research group is exceptionally positioned to develop novel inhibitors as a tailor-made treatment opportunity for women in need. As Laura Minquini, Core Lead of AthenaDAO says; “If you understand the pathways of ovarian aging, you have the potential to treat them.” 

Mario brings with him a history of excellence; he has published 90 articles, 8 book chapters, 2 books, 5 patents, and has been cited more than 8993 times. 

Utilizing Blockchain for Progress

AthenaDAO has a keen focus on funding translational research that will generate novel intellectual property, which is why this particular project was appealing. Mario has clear, well-structured endpoints with a thorough consideration of how his research will be translated in the future. By utilizing Molecule’s technology, AthenaDAO has been able to bind the intellectual property, underlying data, and economics into one programmable, transactable, digital unit - an IP-NFT. This creates an immutable history of the project as time goes by, and a mechanism that allows participants to directly govern the IP produced by Mario’s project, and future projects. 

It’s totally new for me but [I’m] really happy because I see it as an enriched experience. The project is going step-by-step because I have comments from the reviewers which help improve the proposal. We all want the same; to get future treatments to help people.
Dr Mario Cordero

The IP-NFT Artwork

AthenaDAO commissioned Hanna Salmonowicz to create the sculpture for their landmark  Reproductive Health Report. They decided that given the strength of the piece and because of narrative it made sense to the artwork for their first  IP-NFT. Hanna is both an artist and an aging scientist - a perfect fit for the project. Inspired by oocytes, Hanna used small handmade plasticine shapes and beads to form the sculpture.

Ready, set, whitelist! 

AthenaDAO’s scope extends far beyond fertility. By investing in commonly overlooked research areas, they are creating forward momentum in women’s health issues. If you want to be a part of their mission, get whitelisted for their upcoming ATH token sale. 

Join their Discord and follow their Twitter to stay updated! 

A Legal Guide to Funding Research with IPTs
This guide explores raising money for research using tokenized Intellectual Property (IP) rights including IP Non-Fungible Tokens (IP-NFTs) and a new token type called IPTs mintable by IP-NFT holders. Note, this guide does not provide legal advice, but rather offers general information. Always consult a legal professional before using IP-NFTs and IPTs.
Jesse Hudson
Jul 20, 2023
min read

1. Conceptual Foundation 

These are the foundational concepts essential to understanding IPTs: 

  • Intellectual Property (IP): Rights to exclude others from the creations of the mind, such as scientific inventions, designs, artistic works, and symbols in commerce. 
  • Research & Development (R&D) Data: Findings, statistics, and other data gathered from scientific research. R&D data can be highly valuable and is often linked to IP.
  • Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs): Unique digital assets stored on a blockchain. Each NFT carries unique value and specific information.  
  • IP-NFTs: pools of IP and R&D data rights attached to NFTs.  
  • IP Pools: pools of IP rights held by different owners to facilitate the licensing process, reduce risks of IP infringement, and encourage collaboration among innovators.
  • IPTs: IP pool memberships. The rights and responsibilities of the holders of IPTs are governed by adhesion contracts, e.g. this one: IPT Membership Agreement
  • Adhesion contracts: Legal agreements that attach to users of applications (e.g. terms of service and privacy policies) and token holders (e.g. the CryptoPunks Terms and the Milady Viral Public License)

2. Tokenizing IPTs

2.1 Minting an IP-NFT

The initial step is minting an IP-NFT on mint.molecule.to. Minting attaches a legal contract, such as a sponsored research agreement that grants rights to IP and R&D data from scientific research, to an NFT. This IP-NFT denotes ownership of the IP rights on Ethereum. 

2.2 Minting IPTs using the IP-NFT

The next step is minting IPTs using the IP-NFT. The IP-NFT holder calls the Tokenizer smart contract, which confirms IP-NFT ownership and allows the owner to mint IPTs, fungible tokens unique to their parent IP-NFT creating IP pools.  

2.3 IPT Membership Agreement

The IPT Membership Agreement is an adhesion contract that defines the rights and responsibilities of IPT token holders in the IP pool: 

  • Governance: Token holders have the right to participate in the governance of the IP-NFT and its development. This includes voting on proposed licenses and use of proceeds from the IP-NFT. 
  • Access to Intellectual Property: Token holders can govern access permissions to relevant data and other IP or future IP arising from the development of the IP-NFT. 
  • Duty of Care: Token holders have a Duty of Care to honor, support, and adhere to the terms and conditions of the IPT Agreement, including any governance agreement made pursuant to it.
  • Confidentiality: Token holders must not, without consent, use or disclose any confidential information or IP for any purpose or attempt to sell or register any Confidential Information, IP, or R&D data rights developed through their participation in the token holder group.

3. Legal Considerations and Best Practices 

3.1 Governance 

Holders of IPTs control the licensing function, thus governing the terms upon which IP and R&D data gets distributed. 

3.2 Compliance with IPT Membership Agreement 

Token holders encounter and agree to the terms of the IPT Membership Agreement so that it adheres to them at various stages: at the point of purchasing IPTs in the genesis sale, when voting on governance decisions, etc.  

3.3 Dealing with Malfeasance 

In the event of a malicious actor, the IP-NFT owner and IPT holders can challenge the actor's right to receive any license or proceeds due to their failure to uphold a reasonable duty of care. 

3.4 Seeking Legal Advice 

Legal advice should be sought before engaging in the creation of IPTs and governance of IP-NFTs. This is a complex and evolving area of law with potential legal liabilities if handled incorrectly. For example, depending on how IPTs are sold, the seller may need to exclude US participants, limit the amount raised, limit the number of participants, register, and publish a prospectus or have a private placement memorandum.  

3.5 Securities Law Best Practices

  • Know the Law: Despite their design as IP governance tokens without the hallmarks of securities, courts could still find that a sale of IPTs is a securities transaction depending on how the sale is marketed, so any prospective tokenizer and seller of IPTs should follow the relevant securities laws in any jurisdiction where they offer the tokens, engaging experienced legal counsel to help navigate the complexities. 
  • Prospectus and Disclosure: If the IPT sale is considered a securities transaction or IPTs considered asset tokens, then the seller may need to prepare a prospectus, whitepaper, or similar disclosure document. The best practice is to prepare a whitepaper anyway, which should provide comprehensive, accurate, and transparent information about the token, its rights, and the risks involved. 
  • Offering Exemptions: In certain jurisdictions, there are exemptions that allow people to offer tokens under exemptions that permit offerings without registering them or publishing a prospectus. For example, in Switzerland, a token issuer can make an offering to fewer than 500 investors or with a total value of less than $8 million in 12 months without triggering a requirement to publish a prospectus. In the United States, generally all token sales could be considered securities offerings no matter the token type, so people funding research with IPTs should comply with the not-touching-US requirements of Regulation S, the offering size, marketing, and character of buyer requirements of Regulation D, and any other regulation applicable, e.g. Regulation A+.   
  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) Regulations: Token sellers should comply with AML and KYC regulations to prevent illegal activities. 

Always seek legal advice before proceeding with a token sale. This list is not exhaustive and does not constitute legal advice.

FAQs

Comprehensive answers to your most commonly asked questions

How can I become a funder?

Becoming a funder at Molecule involves actively participating in the ecosystem to support scientific research projects and contribute to the advancement of knowledge. There are several avenues available for individuals interested in funding projects within the Molecule ecosystem: Participate in Token Auctions, join Crowdsale of IP Tokens, or fund IP-NFTs.

What are IP-NFTs?

IP-NFTs form a bridge between Intellectual Property (IP) and cryptocurrency, specifically Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), empowering scientists to embrace a new source of funding for their research and new means for transacting on their discoveries.

By merging legal contracts, such as sponsored research agreements and patent licenses, with Ethereum smart contracts, IP-NFTs introduce a quantum leap in the evolution of scientific agreements.With IP-NFTs, legal contracts find a new home within the immutable realm of smart contracts on Ethereum. This digitization paves the way for new possibilities. IP-NFTs can be seamlessly transferred peer-to-peer.

They enable the equitable distribution of license and governance rights to communities, catalyzing collective intelligence and participation in shaping the destiny of scientific discoveries.

What are IP Tokens?

IP Tokens (IPTs) are unique ERC-20 tokens that are synthesized from IP-NFTs. Acting as governance tokens over the IP generated by an IP-NFT, IPTs represent an extension of the intricate legal and blockchain-based contracts that constitute the IP-NFT Protocol. IPTs gather token holders under a shared objective: to construct and cultivate valuable IP.IPTs are not merely elements of governance; they are a catalyst to democratize control over a collective pool of IP and R&D data from scientific discoveries.

Owners of IPTs become co-governors of the IP pool, participating in unique incentive programs, fostering IP growth and experimentation, and cultivating transformative IP networks.

How to participate in a crowdsale of IP Tokens?

A crowdsale is similar to a crowdfunding campaign, but instead of giving a donation, you purchase tokens associated with the project. These tokens could have various uses, depending on the project. For instance, they could allow you to vote on future directions or provide access to services.

To stay updated in the latest IP Token crodsales we suggest our Discord and follow our Twitter.

What's a Token Launch?

Token launches enable BioDAOs to crowdfund a treasury by launching tokens to their communities. In essence, a project receives bids from its members to raise funds for research and development, and provides tokens back to the community in exchange. These auctions are often conducted on Ethereum, using smart contracts to facilitate the execution of the fundraising without a trusted intermediary, and to ensure transparency and immutability.

Still have a question?

Drop us a message below, and our team at Molecule will be thrilled to hear from you.

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Lead Researcher

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AthenaDAO Token Launch
AthenaDAO is raising funds tu support to advance women’s health research.
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