On 4/16/19, Flagship Pioneering, unveiled Kintai Therapeutics and named Paul-Peter Tak, M.D., Ph.D., as president, chief executive officer, and member of the board of directors. Kintai is focused on leveraging the body's diverse signaling networks to pioneer a new class of Precision Enteric Medicine™ therapeutics that restore health and fight disease.
"The gut—which is home to trillions of bacteria, 70 percent of our immune cells, and 500 million neurons—is truly a command center, transmitting constant messages and signals throughout the body that affect our propensity for disease," said David Berry, M.D., Ph.D., general partner at Flagship Pioneering and co-founder of Kintai Therapeutics. "Kintai is uniquely interpreting and leveraging the interconnectivity of gastrointestinal biology, the microbiota, immune cells, and neurons to enable precision control with proprietary small molecules. I am thrilled that we've been able to attract Paul-Peter to lead the organization with his deep experience in, and outstanding track record of, fostering scientific creativity and applying rigorous discipline in transforming scientific advances into successful, innovative therapies for patients."
Kintai was founded in 2016 by Flagship Labs, the innovation foundry of Flagship Pioneering. Flagship's team of entrepreneurial scientists asked: What if the gut offered a more impactful means to drive physiology based on the confluence of the enteric nervous system, immune system, and microbiome? The team began investigating the ways in which the gut adversely transforms drugs, and how the same biologies, as well as the nuanced interconnections of a wide variety of systems, could be harnessed as a new way to develop drugs. These early explorations led to fruitful insights and data that inspired a foundational view that the gut could serve as a way to effectively drive systemic therapeutic effects.
Since its founding, Kintai has made substantial discoveries through its mapping capabilities, including the identification of over 44,000 new genes and hundreds of new metabolites that had not been previously known to exist. Based on these research efforts and through its proprietary Precision Enteric Medicine™ (PEM™) discovery platform, Kintai is today unveiling a portfolio of more than ten programs focused on multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, neurology, and immunology.
"Kintai was especially attractive given my long-standing interest in the microbiome and its privileged relationship with human cells and organs," said Paul-Peter Tak, M.D., Ph.D., newly appointed president and chief executive officer of Kintai. "I believe Kintai is poised to transform gastrointestinal biology and is particularly well positioned to make major therapeutic advancements in the field by leveraging a prolific and disruptive discovery and development strategy. I am proud of the team, which has already harnessed new insights into more than 10 drug programs."
Kintai's PEM™ discovery and therapeutic development platform is being applied to identify and develop orally available small molecules based on underlying biology to selectively target the enteric signaling network. In addition, PEM™ compounds are designed with a biogeographic attribute, targeting the drug precisely to its optimal location to maximize therapeutic activity. The platform relies on a diverse and multidimensional scientific approach involving life science and technology disciplines, namely in chemistry, human biology, immunology, microbiology, and artificial intelligence. The company is building on emerging science in microbiome research, deploying some of the brightest minds in academia and industry and applying cutting edge experimental medicine approaches to expedite development and increase the probability of success.
The company's initial pipeline includes an array of programs across autoimmune, metabolic, neurologic, and cancer indications, including initiatives in ulcerative colitis, chronic kidney disease, NASH, metabolic syndrome, and multiple sclerosis.