Flagship Pioneering and ProFound Therapeutics announce agreement to identify novel first-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of obesity under strategic partnership with Pfizer

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 12, 2024 — Flagship Pioneering and ProFound™ Therapeutics, a Flagship-founded company pioneering the expanded human proteome to develop novel medicines for a multitude of diseases, today announced a collaboration to conduct foundational research to identify potential next-generation first-in-class therapies for the treatment of obesity. The collaboration is the first initiated under Flagship’s Pioneering Medicines strategic partnership with Pfizer Inc. announced in July 2023.

Pioneering Medicines, Flagship’s in house drug discovery and development unit, is responsible for leading the partnership with Pfizer, including driving the exploration process to rapidly surface potential drug development programs built on Flagship’s diverse bioplatforms and modalities.

“We are thrilled to be part of the Flagship and Pfizer partnership and to collaborate with Pioneering Medicines to discover and validate novel proteins that have the potential to lead to innovative, first-in-class medicines for patients with obesity,” said John Lepore, M.D., CEO of ProFound Therapeutics and Flagship Pioneering CEO-Partner. “Through our ProFoundry Platform, we have discovered and validated an extensive library of novel proteins that unlock a new universe of possibilities for treating many different diseases, and I’m excited to apply this platform to novel therapies for obesity through this collaboration.” 

“Since launching this unique alliance between Flagship and Pfizer we have been working together to rapidly build out a portfolio of exploration programs,” said Paul Biondi, Flagship Executive Partner and President of Pioneering Medicines. “This agreement will enable ProFound to explore how its pioneering platform can tackle unmet need in obesity. It is an exciting milestone for the partnership and the pipeline of programs we are developing to deliver potential new and transformational medicines.”

Under this collaboration, ProFound will deploy its proprietary ProFoundry Platform in collaboration with Pioneering Medicines’ drug development expertise to collectively discover novel proteins and evaluate their therapeutic relevance for the treatment of obesity. After early validation activities by ProFound, Pfizer will have the option to advance selected research programs under the terms of the strategic partnership between Pfizer and Flagship.

“This agreement – the first under our broader strategic partnership with Flagship – is designed to push the boundaries of science to potentially unlock new protein therapeutics for obesity leveraging ProFound’s proprietary discovery platform,” said Charlotte Allerton, Head of Discovery and Early Development, Pfizer. “With obesity expected to impact 1.9 billion people globally by 2035, it is critical to continue breakthrough discovery research that may lead to new, first-in-class therapies that help address current gaps in care.”

About Flagship Pioneering and Pioneering Medicines

Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category bioplatform companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has, through its Flagship Labs unit, applied its unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in more than $70 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $3.8 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $27 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 40 transformative companies, including Denali Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DNLI), Foghorn Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FHTX), Generate Biomedicines, Inari, Indigo Agriculture, Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA), Omega Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OMGA), Sana Biotechnology (NASDAQ: SANA), Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB) and Tessera Therapeutics. 

Pioneering Medicines, Flagship Pioneering’s in house drug development unit, is dedicated to conceiving and developing a broad portfolio of life-changing treatments for patients built from Flagship’s innovative platforms. Harnessing the drug development expertise of its team together with the power of Flagship’s multiple scientific platforms, Pioneering Medicines explores and identifies new product concepts which are then advanced jointly with Flagship’s bioplatform companies. Pioneering Medicines also partners with external collaborators to apply its unique approach to partners’ R&D priorities. These innovation supply chain partnerships are highly co-creative strategic alliances that accelerate therapeutic innovation by bringing together partners spanning the full spectrum of drug discovery, development, and production. Pioneering Medicines’ current partners include Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

About ProFound™ Therapeutics

ProFound Therapeutics is discovering proteins hidden within the expanded human proteome to uncover novel drugs and drug targets, producing first-in-class medicines for a multitude of diseases. The company’s ProFoundry™ Platform uses state-of-the-art protein detection technologies to systematically identify and validate proteins and dissect their therapeutic potential. The result is an ever-expanding database of tens of thousands of novel proteins, including their connectivity, functionality, and roles in health and disease. ProFound Therapeutics was founded in 2020 by Flagship Pioneering. For more information, please visit www.profoundtx.com.