Why Is Baby Biome Research Important? Dr. Leen Kawas Explores Multigenerational Applications.

Scientific research into the development of the human biome has been critical in helping to improve health outcomes in individuals of all ages and backgrounds. The human biome refers to an umbrella and aggregate collection of systems that essentially tell us how we feel. While much research has been put into probiotics for adults and growing children, less has been put into that of the baby’s gut microbiome.

Dr. Leen Kawas, the former founder of Athira Pharma, has been working as the Managing Partner at Propel Bio Partners so that she can invest in companies that are angling toward positive health outcomes in underserved areas.

Recently, Kawas announced that Propel Bio Partners would be working with Persephone Biosciences, a firm based in San Diego that is focused on developing probiotics for infants.

Microbiome Development and You

Dr. Leen Kawas appeared on an episode of Angel Invest Boston, where she talked about her work in the field with host Sal Daher. During their conversation, Dr. Kawas discussed what Propel Bio Partner was aiming to accomplish in the medicinal sphere.

Kawas said of Propel Bio Partners, “Basically, it is a life science investment firm. We invest in both private companies and public companies where we see their significant upside and management teams and science that we believe in.”

Kawas went on to describe how their focus was on evaluating companies that have potential catalysts for change in the future. If it is possible, they pursue it. Dr. Kawas went on to say, “It is an interesting moment for life sciences, and we have a lot of opportunities out there.”

Seeking to clarify her position at Propel Bio Partners when compared to her past work, Kawas said, “We are a new fund. We’ve invested in a few private companies, some of them that are already public, a few that will be announced soon.”

Even though Kawas likes to focus on catalysts for change, her team at Propel Bio Partners still wants to have a realistic opportunity to find solutions. Kawas said, “We evaluate the probability of success for upcoming catalysts or long-term success of the company and the programs that they are running.”

Persephone Biosciences and the Future of Microbiomes

Persephone Biosciences is based out of San Diego, where the company has long been focused on the development of infant probiotic formulas. Their goal has been to address the human biome of an infant so that they can develop solutions for both mothers and their children.

Persephone Biosciences, Dr. Kawas believes, is a company that marries the best aspects of two worlds: “Faster access to market and revenue with their consumer pipeline and therapeutic pipeline.”

When Persephone began navigating the waters of infant probiotic formula, they found the world receptive to what they were doing. Kawas said, “They are laser-focused on creating and advancing their lead program in the consumer space.”

Kawas went on to discuss how the company had a serious interest in the probiotic formula from mothers. Kawas said, “I’m a working mother, and I understand the stress on mothers. This is the product that I think represents significant value. There is a market opportunity there. This is the first product in a pipeline.”