LEO Pharma Open Innovation

Join us in discovering new treatments for people with skin diseases

Partnering with DeepBiome

LEO Pharma Open Innovation and DeepBiome Therapeutics

LEO Pharma’s unique Open Innovation program tests molecules for their effects on skin disease, with no strings attached; the collaborators retain all the intellectual properties and ownership of data, including data generated. An example of an Open Innovation partner is Cambridge, Massachusetts-based start-up DeepBiome Therapeutics.

About DeepBiome Therapeutics

DeepBiome Therapeutics is developing a new generation small molecule drug discovery platform at the intersections of microbiome research, deep learning and synthetic biology. The company was founded by alumni scientists from Harvard Medical School and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The startup is currently focusing on identifying immunomodulatory products from the human microbiome, and one of its pipelines aims to bring forward drug candidates focusing on the skin with potential as next-generation therapies for dermatological indications. At this stage, partners such as DeepBiome find great value in being able to engage with the pharmaceutical industry to generate data.

DeepBiome submitted a number of candidate molecules for testing, half of which showed positive results in tested assays. One was further developed into a lead and has since gone through in vivo models and structure-activity relationship optimization work. These results may hold promise for the methodology DeepBiome is applying in their business.

About LEO Pharma Open Innovation

LEO Pharma Open Innovation is open to any researcher or organization as a potential partner that can submit molecules for testing in LEO Pharma’s disease-relevant in-vitro assays. Structural information about the molecules remain confidential to partners, who own the data generated using their molecules. In four years, more than 1,000 molecules from around the world have been tested.

Sample Open Innovation Project Timeline*



January 2019

LEO Science & Tech Hub in Boston talks to DeepBiome Therapeutics about skin inflammation and has teleconference about Open Innovation

January to March 2019

Open Innovation agreements signed by DeepBiome and countersigned by LEO Pharma A/S

February to April 2019

DeepBiome Therapeutics ships compounds to LEO Pharma for testing


June 2019

LEO Pharma reports on performance of compounds

Late 2019

Discussions on continuation and follow-up

*Timing varies among each Open Innovation Partnership


DeepBiome Therapeutics

DeepBiome is a drug-discovery company that leverages human metagenomic datasets to discover and rank microbiome-derived small molecules that are predicted to have therapeutic value. The unique aspect of our platform is it is digital and scalable, because the input is genomic data that is refined and printed into DNA expressed in heterologous bacteria that synthesize the candidate molecule.

A large number of U.S. FDA-approved small molecule drugs are derived from secondary metabolites produced by bacteria, fungi or plants. We are advancing discovery of a new generation of natural product drugs discovered from the human microbiome.

DeepBiome’s platform technology is disease-agnostic and has uncovered several secondary metabolites produced by the human microbiome that we predicted to harbor anti-inflammatory properties.

A major challenge for a drug discovery start-up is deciding between making significant time and full-time employee investments to internally build-out specialized cellular assay capabilities or spending precious capital to have them performed at contract research organizations, which can lack specialized assays. By leveraging LEO Pharma Open Innovation’s deep expertise and resources in dermatological drug discovery, we were able to rapidly screen and validate a short list of candidate molecules.

Through Open Innovation, we were able to submit a batch of up to 20 molecules that could each be screened in their four major cellular assays. We received a detailed report of not just the raw data but a customized interpretation of the results. The process was fast and did not cost us at all. This allowed us to rapidly prioritize our candidate molecules at essentially no cost. What could be better?”