December 12, 2022

ProFound™ Therapeutics Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board Comprised of Leading Experts in Drug Discovery and Platform Biology

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., December 12, 2022 – ProFound™ Therapeutics, a company pioneering the discovery of a vastly expanded human proteome and using its newfound insights to unlock a universe of potential new medicines, today announced the formation and members of its Scientific Advisory Board. Members include academic experts across the fields of systems biology, RNA translation, and proteomics, as well as industry veterans in drug discovery and development. The Scientific Advisory Board will work with leadership to bolster the ProFoundryTM Platform and leverage its foundational insights to develop a diverse pipeline of novel therapeutics across multiple disease areas.  

“Our ProFoundry Platform has already identified tens of thousands of new proteins, and we‘re making rapid progress in understanding their biological roles and how they can be leveraged to develop new and better medicines. The interdisciplinary nature of our platform and the vastness of the biology we encounter traverse many fields of expertise, and we’re honored to have such a distinguished group of scientific leaders join ProFound’s Scientific Advisory Board across these disciplines,” said Avak Kahvejian, Ph.D., Flagship Pioneering General Partner and Co-Founder and CEO of ProFound Therapeutics. “Each member has made significant contributions in their field and will provide invaluable guidance and counsel as we continue to explore the expanse of the human genome using translatomics, discover novel protein targets and drug-like modalities, and unlock a new world of therapeutic possibilities.”

“ProFound has already made huge strides towards discovery and characterization, developing a complex and very vast model of the proteome,” said Anne-Ruxandra Carvunis, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Computational and Systems Biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “I’m thrilled to be part of something that helps the world not just understand the expanded proteome, but really do something with it – to create new medicines that might never have been possible.”

“What excites me about ProFound is the prospect of vastly expanding the known complexity of the proteome, faster and with a more coordinated approach than has previously been possible,” said Dr. Reudi Aebersold, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. “In particular, the company's ability to use computational means to rapidly and accurately determine the function of newly discovered proteins gets to the central question of biology and medicine – what is the molecular root of an altered phenotype, and how can it be addressed therapeutically. ProFound is answering those questions on an unprecedented scale.”

Scientific Advisory Board Members

●      Ruedi Aebersold, Ph.D., is an emeritus Professor at the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, which he established in 2004. Dr. Aebersold is one of the world’s leading proteomics experts and has led teams that have developed several widely used techniques and generated a range of software and statistical tools that have helped make proteomic research results more transparent, reproducible, and accurate. In 2020, Ruedi received the Marcel Benoist Swiss Science Prize, the most prestigious science award in Switzerland, for his pioneering work in the field of proteomics and systems biology.

●      Morris Birnbaum, M.D., Ph.D., is the former Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer’s Internal Medicine Unit. Dr. Birnbaum is a physician-scientist that has led both academic and pharmaceutical teams to investigate fundamental problems in metabolic regulation and has been responsible for the discovery and early clinical development of drugs designed to treat metabolic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart failure, and cachexia. Under his leadership, Pfizer brought seven novel potential medicines into clinical development.

●      Thomas F. Bumol, Ph.D., is the former Senior Vice President of the Biotechnology and Immunology Research components at Lilly Research Laboratories and the Site Head & President of Lilly’s Biotechnology Center of San Diego. During his 40-year career, he managed innovative drug discovery and development teams in novel target discovery, biotherapeutic discovery and engineering, and human trials in many therapeutic areas. Dr. Bumol also has over 50 publications, 8 issued U.S. patents, and has led teams at Lilly to discover and advance over 100 molecules into clinical development.

●      Anne-Ruxandra Carvunis, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computational and Systems Biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Carvunis did most of her graduate research on the mechanisms and dynamics of protein interaction network evolution and then went on to study the evolution of transcriptional networks after a brief postdoctoral fellowship. Her research group studies mechanisms of change and innovation in biological systems and their evolution, combining small and large-scale experiments with bioinformatics approaches. She has received a number of distinctions and awards for her research.

●      Mike MacCoss, Ph.D., is a Professor of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle. Dr. MacCoss has nearly three decades of experience in proteomics, across areas of expertise such as protein biochemistry, nanoflow liquid chromatography, instrumentation, and computational analysis of mass spectrometry data. His laboratory has been actively applying these tools to important areas of biology including but not limited to, the basic biology of aging, protein-protein interactions, insulin signaling, transcriptional regulation, proteogenomics, and clinical diagnostics. Dr. MacCoss has been actively involved in the scientific direction and management of NIH centers, program projects, and consortia for 15 years.

●      Anthony Manning, Ph.D., is the former Chief Scientific Officer of Momenta Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Janssen Pharmaceuticals in 2020 for $6.5 billion), where he built a pipeline of first-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of rare autoantibody-driven diseases. Dr. Manning has spent over three decades in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, contributing to the approval of two drugs for the treatment of autoimmune disease and leading teams in the discovery of multiple small molecule and biologic therapeutics in clinical development. Dr. Manning is a founder and Chairman of the non-profit Institute for Biomedical Entrepreneurship and has served as a Scientific Advisory Board member and consultant for a number of companies, including the Harvard Medical School Therapeutics Initiative and the Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator.

●      Nahum Sonenberg, Ph.D., is a James McGill Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute at McGill. Dr. Sonenberg is one of the world’s leading experts in mRNA translation, having discovered the Internal Ribosome Entry Site mechanism of translation initiation in eukaryotes, and the regulation of cap-dependent translation by eIF4E-binding proteins. His research group identifies and characterizes the various translation factors involved in translation initiation, elucidates the signaling pathways impinging upon translation, and discovers physiological consequences of translational control. Dr. Sonenberg has been elected to a number of prestigious societies and received multiple awards for his leadership in biomedical research.

About ProFound™ Therapeutics

ProFound Therapeutics is pioneering the discovery of a vastly expanded human proteome and using its newfound insights to unlock a universe of potential new medicines. The company’s ProFoundry Platform uses state-of-the-art protein detection technologies to systematically identify and validate proteins and dissect their therapeutic potential. The result is an ever-expanding database of tens of thousands of novel proteins, including their connectivity, functionality, and roles in health and disease. ProFound Therapeutics was founded in 2020 at Flagship Labs, a unit of Flagship Pioneering.

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 Agriculture, Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA), Omega Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OMGA), Sana Biotechnology (NASDAQ: SANA), and Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB).

Media Contact:
Michael Lampe