Synlogic Accelerates Business Growth with Appointment of President, Expansion of Financing, and an Industry Collaboration
Bharatt Chowrira, Ph.D., J.D., appointed as Synlogic's President bringing industry expertise in corporate development, strategy, intellectual property and financing
Two proprietary rare disease programs being advanced into clinical development with accelerated financing
An R&D collaboration established with a global pharmaceutical company in a major therapeutic area
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – September 17, 2015 – Synlogic, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapies based on synthetic biology and the microbiome, called "synthetic biotics," today announced the acceleration of its corporate and pipeline development plans with the appointment of Bharatt Chowrira, Ph.D., J.D., as president of Synlogic, as well as accelerated funding from the previously announced Series A financing round which totals approximately $30 million. Dr. Chowrira joins Synlogic at a time when the company is expanding its business opportunities and pipeline around its proprietary synthetic biotic platform, including advancement of its two lead rare disease therapeutic programs toward clinical studies and the signing of a multi-year R&D collaboration focused on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with an undisclosed global pharmaceutical company.
In his role as president of Synlogic, Dr. Chowrira will oversee the company's corporate and business development, alliance management, financial and legal operations, and he will report to Jose-Carlos (JC) Gutiérrez-Ramos, Ph.D., the Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Chowrira brings a strong track record in the biopharmaceutical industry with more than 20 years of experience, combining a unique blend of research, corporate development, operations, financing, legal and licensing expertise. Dr. Chowrira was most recently the chief operating officer of Auspex Pharmaceuticals which was acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals in the spring of 2015. Previously, he was president and chief executive officer of Addex Therapeutics, a biotechnology company publicly-traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Prior to that, he held various leadership and management positions at Nektar Therapeutics, Merck & Co., Sirna Therapeutics, (acquired by Merck & Co.) and Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Chowrira received a J.D. from the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law, a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, an M.S. in Molecular Biology from Illinois State University and a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India.
"We are delighted to have Bharatt take this leadership role at Synlogic. He has achieved much success in his career and has an exceptional track record working with biotechnology companies at stages of high growth and pipeline expansion," said Dr. Gutiérrez-Ramos, CEO of Synlogic. "Bharatt joins our team at a time of considerable growth in our business, as we advance Synlogic's internal pipeline in rare metabolic diseases toward the clinic while, at the same time, establishing major collaborations with pharmaceutical partners to fully leverage our platform. His leadership and experience in R&D operations, corporate development and financing will be a great asset to Synlogic as we chart the course for our company to develop an innovative class of synthetic biotic medicines and build a valuable biopharmaceutical business."
"Synlogic's pioneering synthetic biology approach of reengineering naturally occurring microorganisms with genetic circuits that can safely and effectively reverse the course of disease progression is a very powerful and elegant approach to therapeutics," said Dr. Chowrira. "I believe that the power of synthetic biology to develop orally administered therapies using designer microorganisms has the potential to revolutionize treatment paradigm for a broad range of serious debilitating diseases including rare diseases. I am excited about joining Synlogic and look forward to working with JC and the team to deliver on the promise of this groundbreaking technology," added Dr. Chowrira.
Synlogic is initially focused on developing synthetic biotic therapies for the treatment of inborn errors of metabolism (IEM). The company's two lead programs are being advanced for the potential treatment of rare metabolic disorders of Urea Cycle Disorder (UCD) and Phenylketonuria (PKU). Proceeds from the accelerated Series A funding will be used to rapidly advance these programs into the clinic. In addition to the company's proprietary pipeline focused on rare diseases, Synlogic plans to leverage its broad synthetic biotics platform to pursue drug development programs beyond rare diseases through partnerships with other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. As a part of this strategy, the company's newly-announced collaboration with a pharmaceutical partner is applying Synlogic's proprietary platform to create innovative synthetic biotics for the treatment of certain forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
"Through Synlogic's first industry collaboration, we are pioneering new ground with a novel therapeutic approach using synthetic biotics that leverages our expertise in synthetic biology and the microbiome to address the significant unmet needs for patients with IBD. We are excited to be working with a leading global pharmaceutical partner to pursue the development of an innovative and effective treatment for this debilitating condition," said Dr. Gutiérrez-Ramos. "At the same time, we are positioned to accelerate the lead drug programs from our internal pipeline in rare metabolic diseases toward the clinic."
Synlogic is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, pioneering the development of a novel class of therapeutics based on its proprietary synthetic biology and microbiome (Synthetic Biotic) technology platform. Synlogic's two lead therapeutic programs are being developed for the potential treatment of rare inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) of Urea Cycle Disorder (UCD) and Phenylketonuria (PKU). In addition to the company's proprietary pipeline focused on rare diseases, the company is leveraging its broad synthetic biotics platform in drug development programs beyond rare diseases through partnerships with other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. As a part of this strategy, Synlogic has entered into an R&D collaboration with a global pharmaceutical company for the treatment of certain forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Founded in 2014, Synlogic is backed by leading life sciences investors, including Atlas Venture, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more information, please visit: http://synlogictx.com/.