Upgrading Humanity's Microbes | Concerto Biosciences

Episode 19 of S³

“Microbes have been around for billions of years, these were the first intelligent problem solvers on earth,” CSO @jaredscottkehe told me while filming at Concerto’s lab in Boston, MA.

Microbes are incredibly tiny organisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses, found everywhere in nature. They are invisible to the naked eye but are fundamental to life.

Microbes are astonishing for their versatility and impact. They drive crucial processes in our bodies and contribute to environmental health by recycling nutrients. They can also eat oil...

Despite their importance, much of our cutting-edge technology involving microbes is focused on eliminating them. For instance, antibiotics are designed to kill harmful bacteria, but this approach overlooks the beneficial roles many microbes play in our health and environment.

Concerto Biosciences, in contrast, develops methods to identify and utilize beneficial microbes, aiming to innovate in health and environmental solutions through their unique approach.

Concerto Biosciences calls their microbial products "ensembles," reflecting their name and musical theme. Like a concerto with a lead instrument and supporting ensemble, they focus on a key microbe supported by others, mirroring a harmonious musical collaboration.

Founded during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 (sometimes microbes fight microbes), Concerto set out to bring novel microbial products to the level of advancement that anti-microbial products have.

They developed their technology for microbe discovery entirely in house, they call it kChip.

It enables the systematic construction of millions of microbial co-cultures to harness the unique functions and interactions of microbes. kChip uses microfluidics to combine microbial cultures.

One of the key areas of interest for Concerto is atopic dermatitis, more commonly referred to as eczema. Their proposed solution to eczema is a classic first-principles biotech solution, meaning their approach is novel.

They’ve been testing the transplantation of healthy skin microbes to individuals with eczema, reducing flare-ups. They’re confident enough in the approach to now be ready for clinical trials.

COO and Cofounder @BernacularBio talked about the work and preparation they’ve undergone ahead of getting their eczema microbe therapy to trial. You guessed it, it’s a lot of work.

For the past 5 weeks I’ve exclusively filmed with biotechs and across the board clinical trials for novel therapeutics are the most capital and time intensive processes undertaken by biotechs. Even just getting to the point of being ready for clinical trials is a big deal.

There are a variety of exciting bio discovery companies in the world, what excites me the most about Concerto is their specific focus on microbes and their vision to raise the bar of microbial discipline in the wake.

Concerto is a company to watch as they’ve built the platform to rapidly test many microbes for a wide variety of applications. They’re just getting started with stealing microbial fire from the gods.