CEO Fabrice Chouraqui (Cellarity)

Flag­ship up­start Cel­lar­i­ty gath­ers $123M to fi­nance its ex­plo­ration of cell be­hav­ior, blaz­ing a new path to build­ing a broad pipeline

Right from the start, the dis­cov­ery plan at Flag­ship-spawned Cel­lar­i­ty was to take their cues from cell bi­ol­o­gy and fol­low them to new drugs. Rather than start with a tar­get and de­vel­op a drug to hit it, they’d use new tech­nol­o­gy to dig­i­tal­ly map cell be­hav­ior and then de­vel­op new drugs from what they learned.

“Over the past decades it has al­ways been about find­ing a tar­get, about re­duc­ing a dis­ease to a sin­gle mol­e­c­u­lar tar­get,” says Fab­rice Chouraqui, the No­var­tis vet who was re­cruit­ed to run the op­er­a­tion about 9 months ago. “And that ap­proach has pro­duced thou­sands of life-sav­ing med­i­cines. Yet, this ap­proach has lim­i­ta­tions. A mol­e­c­u­lar tar­get ap­proach is fine when you talk about a sim­ple dis­ease, but for very com­plex dis­eases like neu­rode­gen­er­a­tion, like meta­bol­ic dis­ease, like can­cer, you hope to re­al­ly har­ness the com­plex­i­ty of hu­man bi­ol­o­gy.

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