The Company's Proprietary Address, Navigate, Design (AND)™ Platform Produces Medicines that are Better, Safer and More Tolerable for Patients
After Two Years of Development, Flagship Commits $50 Million to Advance the Company's Platform and Build an Initial Pipeline of Therapeutics
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 7, 2023 – Flagship Pioneering, the bioplatform innovation company, today unveiled Ampersand Biomedicines, a company creating programmable medicines that are safer, more tolerable, and effective by acting at the site of disease. Flagship has initially committed $50 million to advance the company’s Address, Navigate, Design (AND)™ Platform and develop an initial pipeline of medicines across a range of disease areas.
“Most existing medicines affect cells not just at the site of disease but throughout the body. In some cases, this is a benefit, but in many instances, it creates a significant burden of ‘off tissue’ toxicity and safety concerns that can impede the utility of a drug,” said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chairman of Ampersand and Founder and CEO, Flagship Pioneering. “This led us to ask, what if we could direct medicines in a programmable and precise way to act conditionally at the site of disease? By decoupling the burden of specificity from the needed biological effect, Ampersand has unlocked a new targeting axis for precisely localizing medicines, paving the way for potentially safer, more effective therapies across a wide range of diseases.”
Ampersand is using its computationally powered AND-Platform to create next-generation modular medicines designed to effectively target the site of disease without affecting healthy tissue or cells. The Platform’s proprietary, first-of-its-kind Address Map is based on a comprehensive multi-omics characterization of human biology, spanning healthy and diseased states, and enables the identification of the ideal localizers for any organ, cell, and disease. Using these technologies and insights, Ampersand is able to create novel programmable medicines – called AND-Body™ Therapeutics – which localize to their intended target and conditionally actuate biology to treat disease, enabling improved target engagement while limiting on-target, off-tissue side effects.
“Ampersand is using powerful computational tools, combined with our integrated screening capabilities, to engineer and optimize medicines across both physical and biological constraints, to produce therapies that act as intended, conditionally at the site of disease,” said Avak Kahvejian Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO of Ampersand and Flagship Pioneering General Partner. “The versatility of the AND-Platform allows us to aim at a broad range of diseases simultaneously for maximum patient benefit.”
In addition to Noubar Afeyan and Avak Kahvejian, Ampersand’s founding team includes Flagship’s Yann Echelard, Ph.D., President, Raffi Afeyan, Ph.D., Head of Innovation, Charlotte Nicod, Ph.D., and Nick Plugis, Ph.D.
About Ampersand Biomedicines
Ampersand Biomedicines enables a new way of designing programmable medicines that work precisely where needed in the body and nowhere else. The company’s state-of-the-art computationally powered Address, Navigate, Design (AND)™ Platform continually learns the rules for identifying optimal localizer targets and refines its ability to design across the complex space of localizers and actuators. The result is increasingly sophisticated AND-Body™ therapeutics that are engineered across the physical constraints of molecules and the biological characteristics of the targets to effectively target the site of disease without affecting healthy tissue or cells. Ampersand Biomedicines was founded in 2020 at Flagship Labs, a unit of Flagship Pioneering. For more information visit www.ampersand.bio.
About Flagship Pioneering
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 $100 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $3.1 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $19 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 42 transformative companies, including Denali Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DNLI), Evelo Biosciences (NASDAQ: EVLO), Foghorn Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FHTX), Indigo Ag, Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA), Omega Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OMGA), Sana Biotechnology (NASDAQ: SANA), and Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB).