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Root Causes


Man perisheth. That may be, but let us struggle even though we perish; and if the nothing is to be our portion, let it not come to us as a just reward.


By some estimates, between 70-90% of chronic diseases are driven, at least in part, by our environmental exposures. [1] 


As the world has industrialized, toxic exposures have increased, which has translated to rising prevalence rates of chronic diseases both here in the US and around the globe. 42% of Americans now suffer from 2 or more chronic conditions. [2]

The good news is we have the power to bend this curve. While we can’t do much to change the fundamentals of our genetics, we can change our environment.


As more and more people have started to recognize environmental exposures are root cause drivers of ill health, more technologists and scientists are stepping up to help us fight this rising tide of disease.


Our sole mission at MBX is to back these leaders.


So what has to get done?

First, we have to clean up our environment - our water, our air, our soil, our built environment, our food, and so on - with a laser focus on the things that pose the greatest risk of toxicity to us.


We know there aren't abundant resources for clean up, so to do this, we have to create cheaper and better ways to abate pollutants than ever before. 

Second, we need to replace legacy, hazardous chemicals and materials with safer, bio-inert ones. To be clear, we don’t believe all chemicals are bad — they’re not.

Novel chemicals have unlocked abundance that has reduced rates of hunger, driven economic progress, and alleviated global poverty. We need highly functional chemistries to support the transition to renewable energy, to protect our food supplies, treat our illnesses, and much more.


The opportunity going forward lies in harnessing the techniques of green chemistry and advances in safety toxicology to design products that are bio-inert, or at the very least, products which present lower risks to our health. 

Third, we have to harness data from our environmental exposures (the cumulative set of which make up our exposomes) to develop new medicines and diagnostics - we call this exposomic medicine.


There are now powerful technologies for analyzing our in vivo chemical exposures, and we can use this exposure data to pinpoint the mechanisms of diseases we today don’t understand well.


This information has great potential to enable the next generation of biotech companies to make immense progress on previously intractable diseases, such as many cancers and neurodegenerative conditions.


Finally, but no less importantly, we have to adapt our healthcare infrastructure to deal with the rising burden of disease. It will take time to clean up our environment, replace chemicals, and advance exposomic medicine.


In the meantime, we need to fortify our existing system of healthcare by arming our limited supply of healthcare providers with technology that gives them more time and tools to treat an ever growing number of patients, especially in underserved communities.


We know none of this is easy, but with ingenuity and dedication, we believe there’s great progress to be made.


We’re up for the challenge - are you?

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