First company launched to discover medicines targeting cell behaviour

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Credit: Viacheslav Lopatin

A first-of-its-kind therapies company has been launched with the aim of discovering and developing medicines by studying and altering cell behaviours.

Cellarity has been launched by Flagship Pioneering, a life sciences business founded in 2017 in Flagship Labs.

Cellarity has developed a broad platform harnessing single-cell technologies and machine learning to unveil the network state of a given cell, defining the cell’s behaviour.

Its platform digitizes and quantifies cellular behaviours, unravels the network dynamics that govern those behaviours, and generates medicines that can direct them. With the unique ability to discover drugs based on cellular behaviour, Cellarity is dramatically increasing the success rate and speed of drug discovery.

Led by Cellarity’s founding CEO and Flagship Pioneering Partner Avak Kahvejian, and co-founder and Senior Associate Nick Plugis, a team of entrepreneurial scientists leveraged cutting-edge, fit-for-purpose data and novel machine learning algorithms to reveal that individual cells have diverse, connected, and fluid behaviours that drive health and disease.

By understanding the molecular networks that govern these behaviours, the company can rapidly design new medicines to control them. This new paradigm shifts the frame of reference for discovering therapeutics from a single target protein or pathway to one that is simultaneously molecular, cellular, phenotypic, organismal, and clinical.

“To fulfill the Flagship Pioneering vision for Cellarity, we’ve brought together a stellar interdisciplinary team of experts in therapeutics development, network biology, AI, and technology,” says Dr Kahvejian.

The Cellarity leadership team includes Cristina Rondinone, who joins as President and member of the Board of Directors from MedImmune-AstraZeneca, where she was Senior Vice President, Head of Cardiovascular, Renal.

Milind Kamkolkar joins as Chief Digital & Data Office from Sanofi, where hewas chief data officer. While Chad Nusbaum, the founder or Broad Technology Labs, a central development resource for the Broad Institute, joins as Chief Technology Officer.