Flagship Ventures launches a biotech on the human microbiome sea

After two years of building up its knowledge of the human microbiome, tiny Seres Health has emerged from stealth mode today with $10.5 million in venture cash from Flagship Ventures and a business plan to develop new therapies dubbed "Ecobiotics."

The multitude of microorganisms--including a wide swath of bacteria--that makes up the complex microbiome plays a key role in human health. To put it simply, they orient themselves differently in a disease state, and Seres' team believes that they have the technology to shift the microbiome back to a state of health, setting up an R&D strategy that covers infectious, metabolic and inflammatory conditions--all huge fields in the biotech world.

"We believe that Ecobiotics represent the future of microbiome-driven disease treatment," said Dr. David Berry, the CEO and co-founder at Seres and a partner at Flagship Ventures. Their lead candidate is SER-109, currently engaged in clinical testing for C. difficile infection, a major cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea that leads to over 14,000 deaths per year in the US.

Roger Pomerantz, the former global franchise chief for infectious diseases at Merck ($MRK), is taking the reins as chairman.

- here's the press release

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