Kelai pens Double Rainbow pact to pair drug delivery and biosynthesis tech

Kelai Pharmaceuticals has struck a deal to collaborate with Double Rainbow Biosciences, positioning it to explore the potential of biosynthetic therapeutics and the pairing of its drug delivery systems and its new partner’s capabilities. 

Since being created by Thorne HealthTech and Mycrodose Therapeutics in a joint venture, Kelai has worked to combine compounds such as those found in kava, a crop of the Pacific Islands, with a suite of drug delivery technologies. The technology portfolio includes transdermal patches and oral lozenges that stem from the involvement of Mycrodose in the startup.

Now, Kelai has enlisted the support of Double Rainbow, a biotech focused on glyco-drug conjugates. As part of its work on the modality, the company has developed a platform, dubbed Harmony, to decode the biosynthesis pathways of natural products and recreate them using synthetic biology.

Double Rainbow’s work to synthesize bioactive compounds brought it into the orbit of Kelai, a company that is seeking to turn natural products into treatments for addiction and mental health disorders. Using biosynthesis, Kelai could address a problem it may encounter if it succeeds in that mission.

“The supply chain for a natural molecule could be exhausted with the creation of even one new drug. It’s an honor to engage with Double Rainbow on some of our early science. We feel very aligned with their team and their vision, and we hope that this discovery process leads to bigger developments in the future,” Kelai CEO Jacqueline Jacques said in a statement.

Through the deal, Kelai will also pair its “drug delivery systems with the leading plant natural product biosynthesis capabilities of Double Rainbow to explore new opportunities for sustainable therapeutics.”