Petri Bio

Next-generation of therapeutics from gut microbes

Last Funded December 2020


raised from 238 investors


We develop therapeutics inspired by the data collected by animal and microbial genome projects.
Positioned to mine 32+ terabytes of genomic data for future drug precursors.
Founded by 2 PhD scientists (3 patents and 14 publications). 2nd-time founder (YCS17).
Patent-pending treatment for COVID-19 under evaluation by a pharma company for sponsorship.

Our Team

Shu is a genetic engineer versed in the ability to make peptides from gene sequences. Joe is a biomedical researcher who has spent years studying the molecular mechanisms of how microbes can positively impact health. When we met, it was clear that Shu would use her skills to help isolate the compounds Joe could infer from his research.

We're using microbes to discover novel medicines.

Petri Bio is searching the gut microbiome for novel therapies for diseases that are tough to treat.

Why gut microbes? Because we know they can influence a diverse array of health outcomes, we just don’t know how. But we do know they make millions of unstudied chemical compounds that interact with the body.

Petri Bio believes the medicines of the future are among these compounds, waiting to be found.

To kickstart the future, we are building out a platform to screen microbial compounds for therapeutic effects.

We have early leads on novel treatments for two underserved diseases: Inflammatory bowel disease and fatty liver disease. 

Fatty liver disease has NO pharmaceutical treatment, and existing IBD treatments have very limited effectiveness. People suffering from these diseases deserve more options than what pharma companies have come up with.

We’ve gone beyond treating chronic diseases. 

As part of Wefunder’s “Fight the Virus” challenge, we’ve used our platform to look for compounds that can bind and neutralize the virus that causes COVID-19.

Our approach is unique.

We are creating molecules called peptides that neutralize the virus without triggering the immune system — which is what a vaccine does. We hope that our solution will be useful in addition to vaccines so that we have a form of attack for those who experience trouble responding to vaccines (in particular, the immunocompromised and the elderly).

In just 3 months, we’ve been able to file a patent on these compounds, and have been selected for evaluation for a sponsorship from a major vaccine manufacturer to proceed with its development!

Our pipeline has a total addressable market of over $25 billion per year.

We are a team of PhD scientists with decades of domain expertise and Y Combinator alumni network. 

Our team is ready to hit the ground running.

Shu is PhD experienced in genetic engineering and molecular farming, a second-time biotech founder and YC alum.

Joe is a PhD biologist and published author on how gut microbes influence health and aging.

Our advisor John is a YC alum founder and has 7 years of experience as a biotech CEO, and provides invaluable insight navigating early-stage biotech.

What's next for COVID-19

We want to end this crisis as soon as possible... whatever vaccine or therapy gets us there the fastest! Thus, we don't see ourselves competing with other treatments for COVID-19.

That said, it’s our hope that our offering can be used with an established pharmaceutical company’s product. We have already received some interest from a vaccine manufacturer and we are currently under evaluation for potential sponsorship.

What's next for our pipeline of therapeutics

The Fight the Virus challenge has given us a real-world crash course in the drug development process, from initial design to patenting and seeking pharmaceutical sponsorships, all in a three-month span.

With further funding, we have the experience and network now to do it again with IBD and fatty liver disease. We want to develop them as quickly as possible, and partner with pharmaceutical manufacturers to bring them to market.

With enough support, we can even further build out the platform and start screening compounds for other underserved diseases, and branch out into other microbe-inspired products.

Join our mission!

We’re making drugs from an untapped resource of millions of bioactive compounds: the human microbiome. This gives us millions of “shots-on-goal” that traditional pharma companies aren’t making. 

Invest as little as $100 to be with us on the journey from the very beginning, and let's build a healthier future for everyone!