Ampersand Biomedicines launched to develop drugs that only work at disease sites

drug delivery

Flagship Pioneering has created Ampersand Biomedicines, a company creating programmable medicines that are intended to be safer, more tolerable, and effective by acting at the site of disease. 

Flagship Pioneering has initially committed $50 million to advance the company’s Address, Navigate, Design (AND) platform and develop an initial pipeline of medicines across a range of disease areas. 

“Most existing medicines affect cells not just at the site of disease but throughout the body. In some cases, this is a benefit, but in many instances, it creates a significant burden of ‘off tissue’ toxicity and safety concerns that can impede the utility of a drug,” said Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Ampersand Biomedicines and founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. 

“This led us to ask, what if we could direct medicines in a programmable and precise way to act conditionally at the site of disease? By decoupling the burden of specificity from the needed biological effect, Ampersand has unlocked a new targeting axis for precisely localizing medicines, paving the way for potentially safer, more effective therapies across a wide range of diseases.”

Ampersand Biomedicines is using its computationally powered AND-Platform to create next-generation modular medicines designed to effectively target the site of disease without affecting healthy tissue or cells. The platform’s proprietary, first-of-its-kind Address Map is based on a comprehensive multi-omics characterization of human biology, spanning healthy and diseased states, and enables the identification of the ideal localizers for any organ, cell, and disease. 

Using these technologies and insights, Ampersand Biomedicines is able to create novel programmable medicines – called AND-Body Therapeutics – which localize to their intended target and conditionally actuate biology to treat disease, enabling improved target engagement while limiting on-target, off-tissue side effects.

“Ampersand is using powerful computational tools, combined with our integrated screening capabilities, to engineer and optimize medicines across both physical and biological constraints, to produce therapies that act as intended, conditionally at the site of disease,” said Avak Kahvejian, co-founder and CEO of Ampersand Biomedicines and Flagship Pioneering general partner. 

“The versatility of the AND-Platform allows us to aim at a broad range of diseases simultaneously for maximum patient benefit.”

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