Synlogic Inc., a Cambridge biotechnology company, said Tuesday that it will collaborate with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in developing new therapies that kill many children in developing countries.
In July, Synlogic announced that it had raised about $30 million. In its Tuesday release, the company said that the Gates Foundation had joined Atlas Venture and New Enterprise Associates in that round. The foundation accounted for about $5 million of that total.
In 2012, Jim Collins, now a Synlogic co-founder, received a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Gates Foundation while at Boston University for his work on engineering a probiotic bacterium to detect and kill cholera in the intestine.
The Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations initiative funds projects that could one day save and improve lives in developing countries.
In a statement, Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “We are excited to work with Synlogic in such an encouraging area of breakthrough science. Synlogic’s technology platform could lead to new therapies for some of the most severe diarrheal diseases, the second-leading cause of death for children in developing countries.”
Besides Collins, Synlogic’s co-founders include Ankit Mahadevia, MD, venture partner at Atlas Venture, and Timothy Lu, MD, associate professor of electrical engineering and biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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