Microbiotica, a leading player in discovering and developing microbiome-based therapeutics and biomarkers, today announced the completion of a £50 million ($67 million) Series B financing round – the largest microbiome-related financing in Europe to date.
The international investment syndicate was co-led by Flerie Invest, a major Swedish life science investor focussing on companies with ambitious science and the ability to tackle major medical challenges, and Tencent, a global technology company investing in innovations that help improve human life. New investors also included British Patient Capital, while existing investors Cambridge Innovation Capital, IP Group, and Seventure Partners, a world-leader in life science microbiome investment, all participated.
The proceeds will be used to progress Microbiotica’s two lead oral Live Bacterial Therapeutics (LBTs), MB097 and MB310 to Phase 1b clinical studies. MB097 is a fully defined LBT comprising a consortium of bacteria at the core of Microbiotica’s clinical microbiome signature predictive of patient response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor therapy. MB310 is a fully defined LBT comprising a consortium of bacteria for the treatment of Ulcerative Colitis (UC) identified as being linked to remission in a UC faecal transplant clinical study.
Both MB097 and MB310 are precision medicines derived by highly accurate clinical microbiome profiling using Microbiotica’s platform which links consortia of bacteria with clinical trial outcome data. Both products have also been validated and mechanistically characterised pre-clinically through in vivo efficacy data and ex vivo human cell data.
The funds will also be used to expand Microbiotica’s discovery pipeline of biomarkers and LBTs in new disease areas.
Mike Romanos, Co-Founder and CEO of Microbiotica, said: “This major fundraise is a substantial validation of both our team and our world-leading technology. We are fortunate to have the support from new and current investors who have recognised the importance of the microbiome’s therapeutic potential and Microbiotica’s unique capabilities.
“With this additional investment, we will be able to conduct clinical trials with our lead products in immuno-oncology and ulcerative colitis. We will also expand our portfolio of microbiome-based products which have the potential to benefit patients globally.”
Carl-Johan Spak, Senior Advisor at Flerie Invest, commented: “There is ever increasing evidence that the microbiome plays an important role in human health and in multiple diseases, providing completely new therapeutic opportunities in biomedicine. We believe that Microbiotica’s world-leading platform, comprising their unique microbial genomes database, advanced microbiology and bioinformatics will lead to breakthrough results and transformational medicines in the microbiome field”.
Robert Tansley, Partner at Cambridge Innovation Capital, said: “We are delighted to have seen the progress made by Microbiotica since our initial investment. Microbiotica’s unrivalled capability to culture and characterise all gut bacteria from patients at scale coupled with its suite of impressive bioinformatic and machine learning tools makes the Company a leader in the microbiome field. We are delighted to continue to support the company as it applies its platform to address important diseases areas with precision medicine.”
Sam Williams, Managing Partner of Life Sciences at IP Group plc, said: “As a founding investor in Microbiotica, our thesis was that, by culturing, characterising and stratifying the human microbiome, Microbiotica would be able to identify live biotherapeutics with the greatest chance of clinical success in the microbiome field. The company’s pre-clinical data suggest that, so far, our thesis is proving correct, and we are delighted that the company’s esteemed new investors are joining us for the next leg of this exciting journey.’
Microbiotica, spun out of the Wellcome Sanger Institute, has taken microbiome analysis and patient stratification from clinical data to a new level of precision, and translates this into new therapeutics and biomarkers. The company’s proprietary technology is based on comprehensive gut bacterial isolation, its leading database of gut bacterial reference genomes and advanced bioinformatic and machine learning tools. Microbiotica has partnered with leading organisations, such as Cancer Research UK, Cambridge University Hospitals, University of Adelaide and Genentech.