Flagship VentureLabs has launched Seres Health after two years of development in stealth mode and $10.5 million in Series A financing during that period from Flagship Ventures and other investors. Seres Health is a clinical-stage therapeutics company developing novel products to treat a host of disease conditions based on novel scientific findings related to the human microbiome. Seres has developed a unique understanding of the functional nature of the human microbiome and has used this knowledge to pioneer Ecobiotic therapeutics, the first class of agents that addresses the ecological nature of the microbiome.
Flagship VentureLabs, the innovation foundry of Flagship Ventures, began developing the technology platforms underlying Seres Health in 2010 after a three-year exploration into the biology of the human microbiome, the microorganisms that exist in the human body. Seres is based on the recognition that, while the organisms of the microbiome vary greatly from person to person, the functional ecologies of a given state of disease or health remain the same. With this understanding, Seres can develop Ecobiotic therapeutics to reshape this biology and shift the microbiome to a state of health, essentially causing the re-orientation of a diseased microbiome into a healthy one.
"We believe that Ecobiotics represent the future of microbiome-driven disease treatment," said Dr. David Berry, CEO and co-founder of Seres and partner at Flagship Ventures. "The true underlying biology of the microbiome gives us a solid foundation from which we can develop safe and effective drugs using our proprietary Microbiome Therapeutics platform."
Seres now is developing candidates for the treatment of infectious, metabolic and inflammatory diseases. The company's lead candidate, SER-109, currently is undergoing clinic testing for use to treat C. difficile infection, a major cause of antibiotic associated diarrhea that leads to over 14,000 deaths per year in the U.S.
Seres Health has appointed Dr. Roger J. Pomerantz chairman of the board of directors. Pomerantz previously was former worldwide head of licensing and acquisitions, senior vice president of Merck Research Laboratories, global franchise head of infectious diseases at Merck and global head of infectious diseases for Johnson & Johnson, responsible for all anti-infective agents worldwide, having joined Johnson & Johnson in 2005 as president of Tibotec Pharmaceuticals.