News Release

Synlogic Announces First Industry Collaboration to Develop a New Class of Medicines Designed to Power the Microbiome

February 10, 2016

Multi-year R&D collaboration with AbbVie focused on novel medicines for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease

 CAMBRIDGE, Mass., – February 10, 2016 – Synlogic, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines based on its proprietary synthetic biology and the microbiome platform,  today announced the signing of a multi-year global R&D collaboration with AbbVie.  The collaboration is focused on developing novel medicines for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) using Synlogic’s proprietary approach for a new class of synthetic biotic medicines that power the microbiome.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Synlogic will discover, characterize and optimize synthetic biotics-based drug candidates through an R&D program covering a limited number of effectors modulating the IBD pathophysiology, with special emphasis on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. One of the goals of the multi-year collaboration is to combine AbbVie’s expertise in metabolic and inflammatory diseases with Synlogic’s platform to generate and advance to the clinic a novel, oral probiotic therapeutic candidate.  Using Synlogic’s synthetic biotics platform, the novel probiotic drug candidate will be designed with synthetic programmable genetic circuits that can blend with the patient’s microbiome and perform a programmed therapeutic operation involved in the IBD disease process.

“Synlogic’s innovative approach to targeting the microbiome offers a new way to address inflammatory bowel disease,” said Jim Sullivan, vice president, pharmaceutical discovery, AbbVie.  “AbbVie is committed to collaborating with scientific leaders with new technologies and therapeutic advances that complement AbbVie’s internal expertise and share our commitment to advancing the standard of care for patients.”

Under the R&D collaboration, AbbVie and Synlogic will evaluate synthetic biotic candidates that modulate certain effectors involved in the IBD pathway and advance them through preclinical development, with AbbVie being responsible for regulatory filings, clinical development and worldwide marketing of any resulting products. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“We are delighted to be working with AbbVie, an innovative leader in treating inflammation and autoimmune diseases. We envision the potential for strong synergy from the combination of AbbVie’s metabolic and inflammation expertise with our novel therapeutic approach of precision programing in the microbiome, opening new ways to create synthetic biotics to address the significant unmet needs for people with IBD,” said Jose-Carlos (JC) Gutiérrez-Ramos, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Synlogic. “This partnership with AbbVie is a part of our overall strategy for enabling the broad potential of our synthetic biotics platform by forging partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology leaders to pursue major disease indications affecting millions of patients, while simultaneously accelerating Synlogic’s internal pipeline in rare orphan diseases toward the clinic.”

About Synthetic Biotics

Synthetic biotics are a new class of medicines designed from natural probiotic bacteria that are engineered using Synlogic’s proprietary synthetic biology and microbiome platform to treat disease. Synthetic biotics operate from the microbiome and perform specific metabolic transformations to correct disease-causing metabolic dysregulation throughout the body. This innovative approach to disease correction allows the shifting of a corrected and enhanced metabolic function from a disease organ to a stable, non-colonizing fraction of the microbiome.

About Synlogic

Synlogic is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, pioneering the development of a novel class of therapeutics, called synthetic biotics, based on its proprietary synthetic biology and microbiome platform. Synlogic’s two lead therapeutic programs are being developed for the potential treatment of rare inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) of Urea Cycle Disorder (UCD) and Phenylketonuria (PKU). In addition to the company’s proprietary pipeline focused on rare diseases, the company is leveraging the broad potential of its synthetic biotics platform for novel drug development in major disease areas through partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.  Synlogic is backed by leading life sciences investors, including Atlas Venture, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more information, please visit:


Alison Silva
Chief Operating Officer

Kathryn Morris (Media)
The Yates Network