A New Strategy to Treat Disease

Synlogic is harnessing the power of synthetic biology to design biotherapeutic medicines programmed with specific genes and molecular components to address dysregulation and other drivers of disease. Based on our understanding of the proprietary switches and genetic systems able to activate, inhibit or modulate activity to treat disease, these “Synthetic Biotics” have the potential to treat a range of conditions including rare diseases, metabolic conditions, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Synthetic Biotics are potential biotherapeutics enabled by Synlogic’s proprietary, reproducible, target-specific drug design.

Synthetic Biotics are living probiotics genetically engineered to perform a specific function or deliver a therapeutic agent. Synlogic has designed proprietary switches and genetic systems able to activate, inhibit or modulate activity to treat disease in the body.

A Compelling Case Study: Phenylketonuria

Identifying a Need

For people with the rare condition phenylketonuria (PKU), a genetic mutation affects the body’s ability to break down the amino acid phenylalanine (Phe) in dietary proteins. This can result in a buildup of Phe in the blood that can cause serious neurological disorders.

Designing Smart Living Microbes

Our scientists engineered a strain of the microorganism E. coli Nissle with the ability to metabolize Phe. We inserted genetic circuitry and a bacterial gene that encodes phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), an enzyme that breaks down Phe by converting it to trans-cinnamic acid (TCA) in the gut. Trans-cinnamic acid is then converted to hippuric acid in the liver that can then be excreted in urine. Taken orally, the medicine can remain inactive until it reaches its destination. Sensing the internal environment when it reaches the gut, a programmed “switch” in the medicine is activated, triggering enzyme production.

Delivering Our Medicines for Optimal Effect

Synlogic’s biotherapeutic drug candidates, called Synthetic Biotics, are created to act locally while delivering a systemic effect. Our therapy for PKU is administered orally, working through the gut to impact disease.

Targeted Administration

Brendan St. Amant

Brendan joined Synlogic in 2021 as Vice President, Head of Legal. Prior to joining Synlogic, he was Vice President, Legal, and member of the leadership team at Ohana Biosciences and was senior counsel at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Brendan was previously an associate and partner at the law firm of Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar, LLP, in Boston where he focused on commercial controversies and government enforcement. Earlier in his legal career, Brendan served as a clerk for the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut and was an associate at the law firm of Goodwin Procter. He received his B.A. in History from Cornell University, J.D. from Harvard Law School, and his M.P.P from the Harvard Kennedy School. Brendan has served on several practice-related bar committees and on the executive committee of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education corporation. 

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