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Flagship Pioneering officially launched yet another microbiome-focused startup, Kintai Therapeutics, on Tuesday. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company will be trying to create small-molecule drugs that mimic the substances gut bacteria produce.

Kintai also announced that Dr. Paul-Peter Tak, one of Flagship’s venture partners and a former senior vice president at GlaxoSmithKline, would be joining the company as chief executive officer. Luke O’Neill, an immunologist at Trinity College Dublin, will also be joining the company’s board of directors.


Though its formal launch came Tuesday, Kintai already had a website — with its real name and a logo — and was included on one financial analyst’s February list of companies working with the microbiome. About 60 people already work at Kintai, which was previously called VL45.

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