Flagship brings ‘intersystems biology’ beneath one roof with Senda Biosciences

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Guillaume Pfefer, Ph.D.
(Flagship Pioneering)

“Intersystems biology” could possibly be on par with genetics as some of the basic fields to understanding the human physique, its techniques and whether or not we’re wholesome or sick. At the least, that is what Guillaume Pfefer, Ph.D., CEO of Senda Biosciences, thinks.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Senda is the ultimate iteration of a number of Flagship Pioneering efforts within the house. Backed with $88 million up to now, it combines 4 Flagship firms, together with Kintai Therapeutics, that each one consider within the energy of intersystems biology, which “focuses on how molecular connections between botanical, bacterial, and human cells—coevolved over millennia—outline well being and illness,” the corporate stated in an announcement.

“The connection between non-human species and us that we developed with over millennia is as profound and basic because the genetic code. This inter-system molecular connection redefined life,” stated Pfefer, who in July grew to become a CEO-partner at Flagship, a twin position that has him engaged on the biotech builder’s group in addition to helming one among its firms.

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These connections are like a “dwelling pharmacy” in our our bodies, he stated.

“It is actually highly effective—it’s touching just about each department of drugs,” he stated. “We actually [came] to the conclusion that we wanted to get into the best way the species join [at a] molecular stage with us, not solely the microbiotic bacterias, by the best way, but in addition the vegetation we eat, to … create a brand new class of drugs.”

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This concentrate on intersystems biology stems from the idea that the connections between these elements are key to understanding the physique and illness.

“There is no such thing as a type of life that isn’t the results of a connection between species and the ecosystem, and we’re not an exception to that. There may be extra micro organism and species in us than stars within the photo voltaic galaxies,” he stated. “And it is basic to life, and subsequently well being and illness.”

As soon as Senda can determine how micro organism, flora and human cells work together with one another, it’ll then be capable to direct the system to deal with illness. That is the place Senda’s title comes from—it means communication in Spanish, as in, sending alerts. Among the many Basque inhabitants native to southwest France and northwest Spain, it additionally means “therapeutic.”

Though intersystems biology could possibly be used to deal with all types of ailments, Senda has zeroed in on neurology, oncology and metabolic illness. Its applications embody remedies for Parkinson’s illness, a number of sclerosis, colorectal most cancers, continual kidney illness and weight problems. It is also engaged on an immuno-oncology program. It hopes to push its small-molecule medicine into the clinic in 2022.

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As for what’s subsequent, the corporate has seen “very lively” curiosity from potential companions and extra expertise, Pfefer stated.

“I am very inspired with what we’re doing proper now on the partnership aspect. And now that we’re unveiling Senda with a really clear and thrilling story and a lot potentiality for worth creation forward of us, we will probably be in place to interact with investor communities and begin constructing relationships,” he stated.

And though the corporate is attempting to maneuver into the clinic shortly, it additionally desires to discover all the chances earlier than drilling down on just some.

“This subject is so huge that we definitely do not wish to area of interest ourselves into the primary program that we are going to have engaged with; we now have the ambition to create a multiproduct platform firm,” Pfefer stated. “We do not wish to ignore that we now have a completely unbelievable engine behind us, and I wish to proceed to see some nice alternative to vary positively human life and deal with illness with targets which may be recognized within the coming months.”

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