Flagship Pioneering and ProFound Therapeutics have entered a partnership to develop new therapeutics for the treatment of obesity.

The collaboration marks the first initiative executed under Flagship’s Pioneering Medicines deal with Pfizer announced in July 2023.

Pioneering Medicines is the in-house drug discovery and development unit of Flagship and will spearhead the partnership’s efforts with Pfizer.

ProFound’s ProFoundry Platform will be deployed with Pioneering Medicines’ capabilities in drug development to discover new proteins and assess their therapeutic potential to treat obesity.

ProFound Therapeutics CEO and Flagship Pioneering CEO-partner John Lepore stated: “We are thrilled to be part of the Flagship and Pfizer partnership and to collaborate with Pioneering Medicines to discover and validate novel proteins that have the potential to lead to innovative, first-in-class medicines for patients with obesity.

“Through our ProFoundry Platform, we have discovered and validated an extensive library of novel proteins that unlock a new universe of possibilities for treating many different diseases, and I’m excited to apply this platform to novel therapies for obesity through this collaboration.”  

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Following the initial validation stages conducted by ProFound, Pfizer will hold an option to progress the chosen research programmes following the terms set out in the strategic deal between Flagship and Pfizer.

Pfizer discovery and early development head Charlotte Allerton stated: “This agreement – the first under our broader strategic partnership with Flagship – is designed to push the boundaries of science to potentially unlock new protein therapeutics for obesity leveraging ProFound’s proprietary discovery platform.

“With obesity expected to impact 1.9 billion people globally by 2035, it is critical to continue breakthrough discovery research that may lead to new, first-in-class therapies that help address current gaps in care.”