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Seventure Partners Life Sciences Corporate Update Health for Life: January – April 2020

Seventure Partners Life Sciences Corporate Update Health for Life: January – April 2020

Paris, France – 1 June 2019 – Seventure Partners, one of Europe’s leaders in financing innovation and a world-leader in life science microbiome investment, is pleased to provide an update on its Health for Life investments for the period January to April 2020.

“In times of a pandemic, the immune system becomes the centre of attention. With an increasing amount of data suggesting that the microbiome plays a vital role in the body’s immune response to infections, I believe that the microbiome industry will continue its upward trajectory in 2020, despite inevitable disruptions.

2020 was going to be the year when the microbiome would prove to be a major breakthrough in the life sciences sector. Several microbiome-focused Phase II and III clinical studies are due to take place and publish results, such as the promising preliminary data announced by Rebiotix and Ferring on their investigational microbiome-based therapy a few weeks ago.

Seventure was the first to launch a microbiome-focused fund six years ago and despite the current circumstances, I continue to believe that this area will not slow down.  We are working on closing the next round for the second Health for Life fund before the end of this year, and our existing portfolio companies continue to report great successes. said Isabelle de Cremoux, CEO and Managing Partner, Seventure Partners.

Seventure News

Seventure’s Health for Life Capital II™ (HFL II) fund marked its first anniversary in January 2020. The fund has attracted several major investors and already exceeded its original target of €200M. The subscription period has been extended until the end of Q3 2020 and expected to close over target.

Seventure CEO, Isabelle de Cremoux attended a virtual panel at BioEurope Spring 2020, discussing the recent growth of the microbiome industry and how big pharma is expected to embrace this field following an increasing number of late-stage clinical trials. In addition, Isabelle will feature in a pre-recorded virtual panel on the importance of microbiome research at BIO US 2020. The session will be available on-demand from June 8th.

Industry News

SARS-CoV-2 was officially declared a pandemic by the WHO at the end of January 2020. Early findings suggested that the underlying microbiome could influence morbidity and mortality, and obesity is now considered to be a major factor for serious cases.

The UK All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Human Microbiome recently urged the investigation of the link between gut health and COVID-19, partly as patients with gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain) are expected to suffer a worse outcome compared to other patients.

Health for Life Capital™ Portfolio News

In February, Dr Stewart Campbell, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Axial Biotherapeutics (Axial), a biotechnology company dedicated to building a unique class of gut-targeted programs for neurodegenerative diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders, presented an overview of the company’s autism program. He highlighted research updates on Axial’s autism and gut studies at the Centre for Clinical Trials in Rare Neurodevelopmental Disorders’ (CCTRND) at the Emerging Management Therapies for Childhood Neurodevelopment Disorders Inaugural Scientific Symposium.

  • Axial also announced in February the appointment of Scott Brun M.D. to its Board of Directors, as well as promotions and expanded roles for Stewart Campbell, Ph.D., to Senior Vice President and Head of R&D; Chris Meyer to Vice President of Operations; and Hitesh Bhagat, Ph.D., as Vice President, Drug Delivery and Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC)
  • In March, David Donabedian, PhD, Co-founder, CEO & Director participated on a panel discussion on Modulating the Microbiome at Chardan’s Virtual 2nd Microbiome Medicines Summit
  • In April, Axial announced positive topline data from its Phase 1b/2a clinical trial of AB-2004, a first-in-class therapeutic that removes certain metabolites from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract for the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The study met the primary endpoint of safety, tolerability and adherence with no drug-related adverse events (AE) reported. Initial signs of efficacy were also observed across exploratory endpoints, including signs of target engagement of AB-2004 in the GI lumen with significant reductions of several key neuroactive microbial metabolites (NMMs™), measured in plasma and urine

BCD Bioscience, a company working on the world’s first comprehensive oligosaccharide library, announced a $3 million seed round led by Seventure Partners. The fund will help the scientists to discover a way to catalogue natural carbohydrate to efficiently create and commercialise novel prebiotics, synbiotics and immuno-modulatory therapies for human and animal health.

BiomX Ltd, an Israeli microbiome company developing both natural and engineered phage therapies that target and destroy harmful bacteria in chronic diseases, announced its dual listing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). Trading of its shares commenced on 6 February 2020. Shares will continue to trade on the NYSE American Stock Market.

  • During February and March, BiomX’s executives delivered presentations and discussed their research work at numerous conferences, including: the Phage Futures conference in Washington DC; the Microbiome Movement Drug Development Europe conference in London; the Plenary Session of the AACR Microbiome, Viruses and Cancer Conference; and Chardan’s Virtual 2nd Microbiome Medicines Summit
  • At the end of March, BiomX announces positive topline data from phase 1 study for lead candidate BX001 for acne-prone skin. The study met its primary endpoint of safety and tolerability for both doses of BX001, as well as a statistically significant (p=0.036) reduction of Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) levels for the high dose of BX001 compared to placebo. C. acnes are bacteria implicated in the pathophysiology of acne vulgaris

In February, Enterome SA, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company leveraging its unique knowledge of the key functional and molecular interactions between the gut microbiome and the human body to develop targeted therapeutics, entered a research collaboration with BIOASTER, the French Institute for Technological Research in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology.

The collaboration will focus on understanding the key interactions between the gut microbiota and the immune system to provide new insights on the immunological mechanisms that underpin Enterome’s innovative “Oncomimicry” platform.

In March, LNC Therapeutics, a French biotech company specializing in gut-brain microbiome-based drug discovery, announced the successful production of the first cGMP-compliant batch of its leading drug product candidate Xla1. This programme is a Live Biotherapeutic Product (LBP) based on a specific single-strain of Christensenella minuta. LNC Therapeutics is developing Xla1 as a novel therapy to treat obesity and metabolic disorders.

  • In April, LNC announced it has entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), for its patent dedicated to the therapeutic applications of Christensenella gut bacteria in mood disorders

In February, TargEDys®, a commercial stage French biotech, specialized in the development of nutraceutical and therapeutic solutions for appetite regulation and weight management via microbiome interventions, announced positive results from its three-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentric clinical study. The trial was carried out on 229 subjects and aimed to evaluate the efficacy of Hafnia alvei HA4597TM on weight loss by regulation of the appetite. The study confirmed pre-clinical results, where Hafnia alvei HA4597™ demonstrated anti-obesity effects (e.g. weight loss, fat mass reduction) as well as, reduced food intake and positive effects on blood sugar and insulin resistance.

Events

In the first quarter of 2020, Seventure attended and presented at a number of leading conferences and events, including the JP Morgan Annual Healthcare Conference, Probiota as well as the Virtual BioEurope Spring.

Over the coming month, Seventure will also be attending / presenting at the following events:

About Seventure Partners

With €750m net commitments under management as of the end of 2018, Seventure Partners is a leading venture capital firm in Europe. Since 1997, Seventure Partners has been investing in innovative businesses with high growth potential in two fields: Life sciences across Europe, Israel, Asia and North America and Digital technologies in France and Germany.

In Life sciences, the main areas of focus include “classic” approaches such as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, diagnostic and medtech, industrial biotechnology, as well as “beyond the pill” approaches such as MICROBIOME-linked innovations, nutrition, foodtech, digital/connected health and personalized medicine. Investments can range between €500k and €10m per round, or up to €20m per company, from early to late stage.

Seventure Partners successfully launched Health for Life Capital™ which invests in Life sciences (health, nutrition, digital/connected health…) with a core focus on the microbiome revolution and its applications in human health, nutrition and food.

In March 2018, Seventure Partners launched AVF, a new fund dedicated to animal nutrition, feed and health with Adisseo as strategic partner. In July 2019, it launched Sport & Performance Capital, dedicated to Sport-tech.

For more details: www.seventure.fr/en Twitter: @seventurep

About Health for Life Capital™

Seventure Partners launched Health for Life Capital™, the first venture capital fund focused mainly on investments “beyond the pill” in the microbiome and nutrition space. Europe is the primary focus of the fund, but it also invests in North America, Asia and Israel.

The €160m first fund launched in 2014 has invested in 20 companies at the forefront of their fields, such as Enterome, Vedanta Biosciences, MaaT Pharma, Eligo Bioscience, LNC Therapeutics, TargEDys, A-Mansia Biotech, BiomX, Microbiotica, Anaeropharma, NeurIMM (renamed LiMM Therapeutics), Siolta Therapeutics, DayTwo, Zipongo, Mdoloris Medical Systems, MycoTechnology, etc.

In January 2019 it launched second fund Health for Life Capital II™ with a target fund size of over €200m. Both first fund and second fund attracted strategic investments from prestigious organisations including Danone, Novartis, a US based global food ingredient provider (to be disclosed), Lesaffre, Tornier, Tereos, Unigrains and Bel, as well as financial institutions and entrepreneurs.

Issued for and on behalf of Seventure Partners by Instinctif Partners.
For more information please contact: seventure@instinctif.com

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Melanie Toyne-SewellManaging Partner

Agnes StephensAccount Director