Flagship-Backed ProFound Therapeutics Scores $75M to Explore Undiscovered Proteins


Flagship Pioneering has introduced ProFound Therapeutics, a new company that leverages previously undiscovered human proteins to develop treatments for a wide range of diseases. 

ProFound Therapeutics uses the ProFoundry Platform to unveil tens of thousands of novel proteins that could be used to create a multitude of therapeutic solutions. Using tools that reveal the translatome, the full compendium of sequences that translate into proteins, the new company built The Profoundry Atlas, a continuously expanding database of proteins and their functionalities, connectivity capacities and roles in disease and health. This information is what ProFound will use to identify protein factors and targets, with the goal of creating a new range of medicines. 

Flagship has committed to set aside $75 million to boost the ProFoundry Platform and name the firm's initial pipeline of therapeutics. 

"Two decades ago, the Human Genome Project reached the consensus that there were just 20,000 protein-coding genes, based on a well-defined boundary of what we call a protein. It turns out that by focusing on proteins in the process of translation, together with the innovative application of technology and new biological insights, we have found tens of thousands of undiscovered human proteins that could provide countless new intervention points across diseases. This discovery redefines what we know about human biology and marks the beginning of a new era in biomedicine, with unlimited potential for patient impact," Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Flagship, commented in a statement. 

ProFound Therapeutics was founded in 2020. The founding team consists of Afeyan as CEO, Avak Kahvejian, Ph.D. as co-founder and CEO, Kala Subramanian, Ph.D. as president, and fellow Flagship origination partner Yann Echelard. Also part of the leadership team are Erica Weinstein, Ph.D., and Vani Mani, Ph.D. 

"Through the ProFoundry Platform, we have already uncovered many new mechanisms of disease that present untapped therapeutic avenues, including new genetic disease targets, circulating factors, and immune system modulators, among others. This new biology opens a vast frontier, which we believe could unleash multiples of the biotechnology industry," Kahvejian said.

Flagship is a fairly new player in the biosciences industry, having launched only in 2000, but it has fostered over 100 scientific ventures since then. To date, the company has deployed more than $2.9 billion in capital toward its growth, not including over $19 billion in investments poured into its network from other organizations. 

The current Flagship network lists 41 transformative companies, including Moderna, Denali Therapeutics, Seres Therapeutics, Omega Therapeutics, Sonata Therapeutics and Evelo Biosciences.

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