Evelo Biosciences and Epiva Biosciences, two portfolio companies of Cambridge, MA-based Flagship Ventures, have merged to create an immuno-microbiome company, developing therapeutics for cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
The new company will keep the name Evelo Biosciences and operate under the leadership of CEO and President, Simba Gill, Ph.D. Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., CEO of Flagship Ventures, was named chairman of the combined company.
Both founded in Cambridge, MA, by Flagship’s VentureLabs innovation foundry in 2014, Evelo and Epiva will merge in a deal resulting in a 42-person company combining each team’s research findings, product candidates and intellectual property protected by over 50 patents and applications.
Flagship has financed the company with about $40m to date and plans to make additional investments to support its growth. Evelo is developing onco-microbials for the treatment of cancer and immuno-microbials for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The company is translating its insights into the immuno-microbiome into a range of product candidates, which are being advanced toward first human testing in 2017.
In conjunction with the agreement, Mark Pruzanski, M.D., co-founder, CEO and President of Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and David Perry, CEO and President of Indigo Agriculture, will join Chairman Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., CEO Simba Gill, Ph.D., and co-founder David Berry, MD., Ph.D., on Evelo’s Board of Directors. The company has also added Jackie Papkoff, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Research; Anil Jina, M.D., Chief Medical Officer; and Derek Adams, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, CMC, to its executive leadership team.