Lodo Therapeutics: Clusters to Cures

Tapping Evolution’s Diversity to Reinvent Drug Discovery

Lodo Therapeutics discovers and develops novel therapeutics. We apply advanced technologies to tap the vast collections of undiscovered molecules encoded in microbial DNA that we extract from the environment. These evolutionarily optimized leads include an enormous number of structurally diverse molecules with drug-like properties that have been largely inaccessible until now. Yet many of today’s most widely used pharmaceuticals were developed from compounds produced by the tiny fraction of microbes (< 1%) that could be readily cultured in the laboratory.

The Lodo platform leverages breakthroughs in next-generation sequencing (NGS), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), along with advances in synthetic biology and automation. We use these tools to bypass culturing by first identifying and prioritizing the most promising of these drug-like molecules at the level of DNA, using in silico methods. Lodo’s proprietary process can increase speed and efficiency by orders of magnitude through enriching early leads and culling less-promising compounds sooner and at lower cost—only the compounds with the greatest promise are advanced to screening and lead optimization.

At Lodo, we are reinventing natural products drug discovery, which despite its successes had fallen out of favor. This reflected the difficulty of identifying novel compounds when only a limited number of cultured organisms was available for investigation, as well as the cumbersome and costly processes employed. We are able to discover new therapeutics for “undruggable” targets by accessing an entire universe of molecules whose biological properties have been optimized by billions of years of evolution. We see this as a historical opportunity to re-energize a critical segment of pharmaceutical R&D and reverse the declining productivity that is a concern to all who care about improving human health.

Our Approach

Lodo’s proprietary platform is based on the pioneering research of Dr. Sean Brady at the Rockefeller University. It integrates NGS, synthetic biology, automation and advanced computational tools such as AI/ML to identify and prioritize promising drug-like molecules directly from biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) encoded in environmental microbial DNA. By directly identifying promising BGCs, instead of culturing the organism, Lodo gains access to potential drugs made by the >99% of microbes that have not been readily cultured. This represents the largest source of molecularly diverse, drug-like molecules that has ever been available to researchers.

Lodo’s approach identifies entirely new classes of molecules that are biologically relevant and encompass vast chemical diversity, reflecting eons of microbial evolution. They engage human targets and modulate human biology. Many of these novel structures could not have been conceived using traditional chemical synthesis. Their combination of biological relevance and chemical diversity is key for discovering truly novel therapeutics with the potential to address “undruggable” disease targets.

Lodo’s evolutionarily optimized lead molecules frequently have better permeability and greater target affinity than those created by chemical synthesis, which further enhance their drug-like properties. Once found, they are easier to produce through their established biosynthetic pathways.

The Lodo technology platform can increase speed and efficiency, outpacing traditional approaches to environmentally sourced drug discovery. Lodo’s innovative platform is re-inventing and expanding the field to tap the largest reservoir of biologically relevant molecules with new drug potential.

Our Strategy

Lodo is discovering and developing novel cancer and anti-infective therapeutics for our internal pipeline and initiating discovery programs in additional indications. Collaborating is key to unlocking the full potential of the Lodo platform. We are pursuing new partnerships with the many pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies who could benefit from our drug discovery engine.

Our Backers

Our Partners

Lodo Therapeutics is supported by distinguished life science investors and has major partnerships with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Genentech. The utility of Lodo’s technology platform has been demonstrated by the early success of the company’s work for these partners.

Lodo Therapeutics is an Accelerator Life Science Partners-backed entity headquartered in New York City at the Alexandria Center for Life Science.

Our Leadership Team


Dale Pfost, Ph.D.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Donald R. Marvin

Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Steve Colletti, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Anthony Colasin

Senior Vice President of Business Development


Barbara Lindheim

Consulting Vice President of Strategic Communications & Investor Relations

Sarajane Mackenzie

Consulting Vice President of Human Resources & Organization Development

Brad Hover, Ph.D.

Vice President, Discovery Research and Platform Technology

Sean Brady, Ph.D.

Co-founder and Academic Advisor, Rockefeller University


Our Team

Our Board


Dale Pfost, Ph.D.

Lodo Therapeutics Corp.

Johnston Erwin

Eli Lilly and Company

Steve Gillis, Ph.D.

ARCH Venture Partners

Sundar Kodiyalam

Vatera Healthcare Partners


Thong Le

Accelerator Life Science Partners

Whitney Snider, MD, MBA

Alexandria Venture Investments & Alexandria LaunchLabs–NYC

Nikola Trbovic, Ph.D.

Pfizer Ventures


Career Opportunities

Join the Team

We're looking for good people

Current Openings

Please check back for future opportunities.

Please send your resume to:
Lodo Therapeutics Corporation
Attn: Human Resources
430 E 29th St, Suite 625
New York, NY 10016


Press Releases

October 27, 2020 Lodo Therapeutics Achieves Second Preclinical Milestone In Its Strategic Collaboration With Genentech [link]
September 3, 2020 Lodo Therapeutics Acquires Hibiskus Biopharma And Licenses Rights To Novel Proteasome Inhibitors [link]
August 7, 2020 Lodo Therapeutics Acquires Conifer Point Pharmaceuticals [link]
July 1, 2020 Lodo Therapeutics Strengthens R&D Leadership with Expanded Executive Roles and Addition of Scientific Advisory Board [link]
June 1, 2020 Lodo Therapeutics to Present at Jefferies Virtual Healthcare Conference [link]
May 6, 2020 Lodo Therapeutics Appoints Donald Marvin Executive Vice President And Chief Financial Officer [link]
April 7, 2020 Lodo Therapeutics Achieves Preclinical Milestone In Strategic Collaboration With Genentech [link]
Dec 20, 2019 Lodo Therapeutics Names Serial Biotech Entrepreneur Dale Pfost As CEO And Adds Top Industry Veterans To Leadership Team [link]
May 9, 2018 Lodo Therapeutics Corporation Forms Multi-Target Strategic Collaboration with Genentech [link]
January 18, 2016 Accelerator Corporation Launches Lodo Theraepeutics with $17 Million Series A to Develop Therapies Derived From Natural Products [link]

In The News

What if the best pharmacy on the planet is waiting to be discovered in the soils beneath our feet? [www.tedmed.com]
December 28, 2018 Nature Reviews Drug Discovery volume 18, pages 10�11 (2019) [www.nature.com]
May 9, 2018 Genentech forms $1B discovery collaboration with soil-prospector Lodo Therapeutics [www.fiercebiotech.com]
May 9, 2018 Genentech, Lodo Therapeutics Ink Up-to-$969M Metagenomics Drug Discovery Partnership [www.genengnews.com]
February 12, 2018 Powerful Antibiotics Found in Dirt [www.directorsblog.nih.gov]
February 12, 2018 A potentially powerful new antibiotic is discovered in dirt [www.washingtonpost.com]
February 12, 2018 In soil-dwelling bacteria, scientists find a new weapon to fight drug-resistant superbugs [www.latimes.com]
January 18, 2018 How Dirt Could Save Humanity From an Infectious Apocalypse [www.wired.com]
October 31, 2016 C&EN's 10 Start-ups to watch [www.cen.ACS.org]
January 18, 2016 Lodo loads up series A with $17m [www.globaluniversityventuring.com]
January 11, 2016 Accelerator, Gates Team Up in NY to Put $17M Into Rockefeller Startup [www.xconomy.com]
January 11, 2016 Accelerator's second NYC biotech startup sets out with $17M and Gates-backed science [www.fiercebiotech.com]
January 11, 2016 Gates-backed NYC startup plumbs soil bacteria for tuberculosis therapy [www.medcitynews.com]