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Boston startup hopes to use bacteria to treat autism

Boston venture capital firm Longwood Fund, co-leading a $19.1 million initial funding round, is helping to launch a local startup that wants to harness bacteria from the gut to treat autism and other neurodevelopment conditions.

The startup, called Axial Biotherapeutics, formally announced its launch Wednesday, saying it will be using research conducted by California Institute of Technology professor Sarkis Mazmanian to develop a new class of “microbiome” treatments targeting the “gut-brain axis” to combat neurological disorders

Axial’s funding round was led by Longwood and Domain Associates of Princeton, NJ. Other investors included Kairos Ventures, Heritage Medical Systems, and a group of private investors from southern California.


Robert Weisman can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeRobW.