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Kiwi Bio aims to free irritable bowel syndrome sufferers from restrictive diets

0 3 years ago

One in 20 people suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, a common disorder related to how your bowels work, that can cause a number of symptoms, including abdominal pain and difficulty using the bathroom.

A go-to remedy for gut sensitivity is to avoid certain foods, but many of the associated diets are very restrictive, said Anjie Liu, one of the co-founders of Boston-based biotechnology company Kiwi Bio, who knows firsthand the difficulties of living with IBS.

“I would have stomach pains after eating and went to the doctor, who then referred me to a specialist, which is the typical IBS journey, because no one has an idea of what is wrong with you,” Liu told TechCrunch. “Between 10% and 15% of people suffer from IBS, but only half of those people are officially diagnosed.”

This led her to pair up with David Hachuel to develop a way to make eating a painless ritual for 40 million other Americans also suffering from IBS. Kiwi’s first product, FODZYME, came out in May. FODZYME uses patent-pending enzymes to break down common digestive triggers.

And now today, Kiwi Bio announced a $1.5 million seed round from a group of investors that includes Y Combinator, North South Ventures, Surf Club Ventures, Acacia Venture Capital Partners, Savage Seed (a fund managed by Emily Leproust) and Golden founder Jude Gomila.

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