By Ben Comer, Chief Editor, Life Science Leader
What if safer drugs for treating chronic conditions lie hidden in the foods, herbs, and traditional medicines human beings have consumed for millennia? And what if new technology could effectively screen and sort through some 100,000 molecules contained in those foods, herbs, and traditional medicines, digitize and decode them for drug-like properties, and match them with the biological pathways responsible for disease? That is the premise behind Montai Health, a seed company launched by Flagship Pioneering last December with a $50 million Series A investment. With chronic diseases, “most of the existing therapies are not safe for long-term use,” says Margo Georgiadis, cofounder and CEO at Montai Health. “We’ve always known that food is medicine, but we’ve never understood it at a molecular level.” Georgiadis and Flagship Pioneering are betting that scale capabilities in computation will make drug discovery more predictable and help unveil a new generation of what the company calls “anthromolecule” therapies.