December 10th, 2015
- Team includes trio of highly recognized founders and pharma veteran as CEO
- Platform biotech in New York City represents novel focus on gut-brain axis
NEW YORK, December 10, 2015 – Kallyope Inc. (“Kallyope”), a biotechnology company focused on harnessing the potential of the gut-brain axis, today announced that it has launched with Series A financing of $44 million. The new company was founded by Charles Zuker, Ph.D., Tom Maniatis, Ph.D. and Richard Axel, M.D. and is headquartered at the Alexandria Center® for Life Science in New York City.
“The gut-brain axis functions as a two-way information highway between the gut and the brain, providing an unprecedented opportunity to access and influence brain centers involved in a variety of fundamental human processes. Kallyope has put together an exciting, state-of-the-art program to understand how the gut communicates with other organs and our brains about our physiological, metabolic and internal state,” said Tom Maniatis, Ph.D., co-founder of Kallyope and a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
The company is led by CEO Nancy Thornberry, who brings with her more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Thornberry spent more than three decades in research at Merck, ultimately leading the company’s diabetes and endocrinology franchise.
“We are enormously excited to be developing new ways of influencing gut-brain circuits to improve human health. Kallyope’s cross-disciplinary approach and technology platform have the potential to translate gut-brain biology into a range of new therapeutic and nutritional programs. Such an approach would not have been possible just a few years ago,” said Kallyope CEO Nancy Thornberry.
Kallyope will leverage cutting edge technologies including sequencing, genetics, circuit mapping, neural imaging and bioinformatics. The company has already drawn top scientific and analytic talent from institutions like Columbia, Google and Bloomberg. By integrating and applying complementary tools and approaches to the understanding of gut-brain biology, the company aims to develop transformational therapeutics and consumer products that improve human health and nutrition.
Kallyope’s founding investors include Lux Capital, Polaris Partners, and The Column Group. Other notable investors include Illumina, Inc., Tony Evnin, Ph.D. and Alexandria Venture Investments.
“What Kallyope is doing represents a hugely exciting venture into the untapped therapeutic and nutritional potential of the gut-brain axis, which no other biotech has unlocked and translated. We believe that Kallyope is pioneering an area of science that will fundamentally change how drugs and nutritional products are made, targeted, and administered,” said Josh Wolfe, Kallyope board member and managing partner of Lux Capital.
The company is headquartered in New York City, and can draw upon the city’s deep talent pool and diverse resources. With company headquarters and lab space located at the Alexandria Center® for Life Science, a state-of-the-art, collaborative life science campus in the heart of Manhattan, the company sits in close proximity to New York City’s world-leading clinical and research institutions.
Kallyope’s founders and the scientific advisory board together encompass numerous members of the national academies, two Lasker Award winners, and three Nobel laureates.
Kallyope’s founders are:
Charles Zuker, Ph.D., Member of the National Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Professor at Columbia University and an investigator at the University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute.
Tom Maniatis, Ph.D., Member of the National Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Lasker Award recipient, Professor at Columbia University and an investigator at the University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute.
Richard Axel, M.D., Member of the National Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Nobel laureate, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Professor at Columbia University and co-director of the University’s Zuckerman Institute.
Kallyope’s scientific advisory board members are:
Michael Brown, M.D., Nobel laureate
Joseph Goldstein, M.D., Nobel laureate
Richard Scheller, Ph.D., Lasker Award
Kallyope’s board members are:
Josh Wolfe, Lux Capital
Terry McGuire, Polaris Partners
Tim Kutzkey, Ph.D., The Column Group
Nancy Thornberry, CEO
Tom Maniatis, Ph.D.
About Kallyope Inc.
Kallyope is a platform biotechnology company dedicated to unlocking the therapeutic and nutritional product potential of the gut-brain axis. The company integrates cutting-edge technologies in sequencing, bioinformatics, neural imaging, cellular and molecular biology and human genetics to provide an understanding of gut-brain biology that will lead to transformational therapeutics and products that improve human health and nutrition. The company’s founders are Charles Zuker, Ph.D., Lasker Award winner Tom Maniatis, Ph.D. and Nobel laureate Richard Axel, M.D. Headquartered at the Alexandria Center® for Life Science in New York City, the company’s founding investors include Lux Capital, Polaris Partners and The Column Group. For more information visit www.kallyope.com.