We initially investigated the human commensal virome at Flagship Labs, Flagship Pioneering’s innovation foundry. The founding Flagship team, composed of Avak Kahvejian, PhD; Erica Weinstein, PhD; and Noubar Afeyan, PhD, uncovered a family of viruses that were originally identified in transfusion samples around the turn of the century but were largely dismissed after they were deemed non-pathogenic. The team surmised that the natural history of the virus in transfusion medicine could serve as compelling evidence of its safety, ubiquity, and transmissibility. We then embarked on the exciting project of mining genomic data for deeper viral discovery and “vectorization” through synthesis and engineering. After experimental demonstrations were successfully completed and substantiated the potential for a broad new programmable medicines platform, Flagship Pioneering launched Ring Therapeutics, Inc. in 2017.
About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category bioplatform companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has, through its Flagship Labs unit, applied its unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in more than $100 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $2.9 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $19 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 41 transformative companies, including Moderna, Denali Therapeutics, Evelo Biosciences, Foghorn Therapeutics, Omega Therapeutics, Rubius Therapeutics, Sana Biotechnology, and Seres Therapeutics.