Press Releases 09.23.2020
Flagship Pioneering Announces Valo Health to Transform Drug Development
Valo integrates machine learning, cloud computing, and data to create a new drug discovery and development process that can shave years off timelines and improve the likelihood of success by finding previously hidden association drivers of disease and therapeutic molecules
BOSTON, Mass. (September 24, 2020) – Flagship Pioneering today announced the launch of Valo Health, LLC (Valo), a drug discovery technology company setting out to transform how oncology, neurodegenerative, and cardiovascular disease drugs are created, developed, and approved.
Founded and initially capitalized by Flagship Pioneering in 2019, Valo received additional funding from investors, bringing total financing to nearly $100m. Valo’s Opal Computational PlatformTM is a first-of-its-kind, end-to-end drug development platform, which integrates machine learning, cloud computing, and data to create an entirely new drug discovery and development process.
“New biological and chemical experimental platforms and the application of advanced computing to integrate human data can shave years off drug development and improve the likelihood of success” said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. “In a pharmaceutical industry where failure is too often the rule, our goal with Valo is to change how drugs are developed and to bring more predictive confidence to clinical trial design and execution.”
Valo’s Opal Computational PlatformTM allows the company’s scientists to analyze human data to uncover previously unsuspected associations between genetic markers and disease with a human-centric framing, enabling the integrated discovery and development of proprietary new molecules.
“At the core of Valo’s approach is a recognition that human-centric data coupled with leading-edge compute can enable a transformation in how drugs are created, reducing cost and time, while increasing confidence,” said Valo CEO David Berry, who is also a General Partner at Flagship Pioneering. “We founded Valo with the goal of redefining the drug development process so that we can treat some of the world’s most challenging illnesses more quickly and more effectively than ever before.”
During its first year, Valo completed two major acquisitions to help drive the company’s strategy. Numerate, acquired in September 2019, and assets from FORMA Therapeutics, acquired in March 2020. Numerate’s engineers, now part of Valo’s team, created a platform with over 30,000 models and over 70 trillion molecules that powered more than 25 drug programs. Through FORMA Therapeutics, Valo acquired a highly skilled team, research and development compounds and libraries, a global intellectual property portfolio, and two early discovery labs.
“Valo is taking a groundbreaking approach to solving some of the most complex and dynamic issues in drug development,” said Ron Hovsepian, Valo Board Chairman, and Flagship Executive Partner. “David Berry’s leadership as an innovator positions Valo to shape how the next generation of drugs will come to market. We are excited to see what comes next.”
Valo is an early-stage technology company founded by Flagship Pioneering in 2019 that is using cloud computing as well as longitudinal and human data to create an entirely new drug discovery and development process. Through Valo’s Opal Computational PlatformTM a cloud generation, fully-integrated, componentized, end-to-end drug development platform, drug development is positioned to be transformed into a far more efficient process with life-changing treatments created in potentially half the time at far less cost and with far fewer failures. The Opal Platform makes it possible for scientists to review human data to discover previously unsuspected associations between genetic markers and disease and design and discover proprietary new molecules.
About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category life sciences companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has applied a unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in over $34 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship is backed by more than $4.4 billion of aggregate capital commitments, of which over $1.9 billion has been deployed toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $10 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 41 transformative companies, including Axcella Health (NASDAQ: AXLA), Denali Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DNLI), Evelo Biosciences (NASDAQ: EVLO), Foghorn Therapeutics, Indigo Ag, Kaleido Biosciences (NASDAQ: KLDO), Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA), Rubius Therapeutics (NASDAQ: RUBY), Sana Biotechnology, Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB), Sigilon Therapeutics, and Syros Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SYRS).