uBiome Announces Expansion into Microbiome-Based Therapeutics, Appoints Pharmaceutical Veteran Joseph Jimenez to Board of Directors
uBiome Opens Therapeutics Headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Support Drug Discovery and Development
Initially Focused on Therapeutics for Oncology, Autoimmune Disorders, Obesity, and Metabolic Disorders
SAN FRANCISCO & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, today announced that the company will leverage its deep knowledge of the microbiome and expand upon its current portfolio of commercially available microbiome tests into drug discovery, development, and commercialization. In conjunction with its expansion into therapeutics, the company has appointed Joseph Jimenez, the former CEO of Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, to its board of directors, and opened its new therapeutics headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, both to support the Company’s new drug discovery and development efforts.
“Since uBiome’s founding in 2012, we have gained incredible insights into the human microbiome through successful commercialization of our existing products, SmartGut™, SmartJane™, and Explorer™, as well as new products under development. Using proprietary machine learning and other computational techniques, we have mined our database to discover new therapeutic targets, with an initial focus on oncology, autoimmune disorders, obesity, and metabolic disorders. Our expansion into therapeutics does not involve sale of customer data, but rather a focus on intellectual property derived from our deep microbiome database,” said Jessica Richman, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of uBiome. “Joe Jimenez brings an indisputable record of success in pharmaceutical drug discovery and development. He will further advance the success of uBiome’s mission to transform research into useful products based on the microbiome.”
Mr. Jimenez brings to uBiome decades of leadership experience, including at one of the world’s most prestigious healthcare companies. At Novartis, Mr. Jimenez focused on leading global businesses, while divesting non-core divisions. Under his leadership, the innovation pipeline was rejuvenated, and the company navigated the patent expirations of their two largest products. Mr. Jimenez has a track record of business leadership at several world-class companies, including Clorox, ConAgra, and H.J. Heinz. In addition to the board of directors of uBiome, he presently serves on the boards of Proctor & Gamble and General Motors. Additionally, he served on the board of directors of the Colgate-Palmolive Company from 2009 to 2015, and of AstraZeneca PLC, from 2002 to 2007.
“The human microbiome contains a wealth of valuable information about our health, from predisposition to disease to potential therapeutic targets,” said Mr. Jimenez. “uBiome has built the world’s largest microbiome database and a strong patent portfolio, which offers a tremendous opportunity to apply these insights into the development of new therapeutics for a wide range of diseases. I am pleased to support the Company’s efforts in my new role as a board member.”
Founded in 2012, uBiome is the leader in microbial genomics. The Company’s mission is to advance the science of the microbiome and make it useful to people. uBiome’s commercial products include SmartGut™, the world’s first sequencing-based clinical microbiome test, which identifies microbes in the gut for patients with chronic gut conditions such as IBD, IBS, Crohn’s Disease, and ulcerative colitis; SmartJane™, the first sequencing-based women’s health screening test, which genotypes all 19 clinically relevant strains of HPV, identifies four common STDs, and surveys more than 20 vaginal microbes associated with bacterial vaginosis and other conditions; and Explorer™, a health and wellness product to understand the role that food and lifestyle can play in wellness. uBiome’s platform has been used by hundreds of thousands of consumers, patients, and doctors and more than 200 research institutions around the world, including the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), US National Institutes of Health (NIH), Harvard University, Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, San Francisco, Oxford University, and the University of Sydney. Since its launch, the company has received widespread recognition including CNN 10: Startups to Watch, the IVY Technology Award, CNN Future 30, and was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Healthcare in 2016 and in Data Science in 2018, as well as a Technology Pioneer from the World Economic Forum in 2018. For more information, visit www.uBiome.com.