Paris, France – 26 October 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 June to September 2020.
“Despite the difficulties of the last few months, the microbiome industry continues to grow, and we are seeing an increasing level of investments as well as excellent and promising research results. Our Health for Life Capital II is on the way to significantly exceed the planned raise of EUR 200 million, expected to be closed by the end of year.
“We are also expanding to new regions and have welcomed our first investor from Japan.
“The pandemic and the increasing focus on a healthy lifestyle has accelerated microbiome-related research. We see a growing number of late-phase trials in this field as well as major investment and financing deals, which show that the microbiome will be of prime focus of research in the coming decades,” said Isabelle de Cremoux, CEO and Managing Partner, Seventure Partners.
In July, Seventure’s Health for Life Capital II™ fund qualified for the French government’s financing initiative (“TIBI”), which was set up to support financing of technology companies. Seventure’s fund is the first and only microbiome-focused fund. The initiative has seen French institutional investors commit over €5 billion to finance innovative French companies before the end of 2022.
In August, an opinion piece by Seventure CEO, Isabelle de Cremoux’s, entitled, “The integral role of the microbiome in a post-pandemic world” was published in Microbiome Times. In the piece, she emphasised the increasingly important role of the microbiome during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it has been shown by the unexpectedly high number of successful financing, re-financing and partnership deals by Seventure portfolio companies.
Health for Life II Fund investment news:
As COVID-19 continues to spread, September saw a significant increase in the number of infections. In addition to the typical symptoms of pulmonary infection, patients with COVID-19 have been reported to have gastrointestinal symptoms and/or intestinal flora dysbiosis, suggested that intestinal flora and its metabolites play a crucial role in regulating immune and inflammatory response of the host.
For the first time, researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong detected active and prolonged infection of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the gastrointestinal (GI) tracts of people with confirmed COVID-19. Stool tests were positive among people with no GI symptoms, and in some cases up to six days after nasopharyngeal swabs yielded negative results. However, it is not yet known how the virus makes its way to the gastrointestinal tract. It is suspected that some infectious particles survive the stomach’s acidic environment.
As new COVID-19 cases rise in the UK and across Europe, governments have introduced stricter rules. A recent opinion piece by the American Society of Microbiology, researchers hypothesise that social distancing might have an impact on the diversity of the human gut microbiome and therefore on human health. As research suggests, social distancing and hygiene rules can decrease the diversity of gut microbiota, which could have an adverse effect on susceptibility to diseases and infections. On the other hand, these changes also decrease the rate of the transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The authors call for more research in this field.
Health for Life Capital™ Portfolio News
In July, Axial Biotherapeutics, dedicated to building a unique class of gut-targeted therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders, announced it received a research grant of $440,000 from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The grant will enable the development of a novel in-vitro model system of the enteric nervous system derived from alpha-synuclein overexpressing (ASO) mice to support the discovery of a small molecule for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD).
BiomX Inc. (NYSE American: PHGE), a clinical stage company developing natural and engineered phage therapies that target specific pathogenic bacteria, announced that in September it entered into a collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim to utilize the BiomX XMarker microbiome-based biomarker discovery platform to potentially identify biomarkers associated with patient phenotypes in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). As part of the collaboration, BiomX will generate metagenomic data of gut microbiome samples obtained from IBD patients with the aim of identifying biomarkers using the XMarker platform.
In July, Eligo Bioscience, a French preclinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering microbiome gene therapy, announced that it had received up to US$1.82 million from the Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) to develop a new generation of highly-specific antimicrobials to prevent multi-drug-resistant bacterial infections in organ transplant patients. The company will receive additional funding for a total of up to US$7.05 million if project milestones are met.
In July, Enterome, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company leveraging its unique knowledge of the microbiome-immuno inflammation axis to develop next-generation therapeutics, initiated its first clinical trial (phase 1/2; ‘ROSALIE’) with EO2401 – an innovative microbiome-antigen (‘OncoMimic’)-based cancer immunotherapy candidate targeting aggressive brain cancer. Initial clinical data are expected in 2022.
MaaT Pharma, a French clinical stage company, announced in August the initiation of a new collection and manufacturing campaign for the production of its microbiome biotherapeutics, enema formulation MaaT013 and capsule formulation MaaT033. It is aimed to be completed in the second half of 2020.
Microbiotica, a UK-based leading player in microbiome-based therapeutics and biomarkers, announced in June that it had entered collaboration with Cancer Research UK and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (“CUH”) to identify and develop microbiome co-therapeutics and biomarkers for cancer patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.
Vedanta Biosciences, a US based clinical-stage company developing a new category of therapies for immune-mediated diseases based on rationally-defined consortia of human microbiome-derived bacteria, announced in June its positive topline data from two Phase 1 studies in healthy volunteers of VE202, the Company’s orally-administered live biotherapeutic product (LBP) candidate for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The studies showed that VE202 was generally safe and well tolerated at all doses and demonstrated durable and dose-dependent colonization. Vedanta expects to begin a Phase 2 study in IBD patients in the next 12 months.
On 7 October, Isabelle participated at the Virtual Microbiome Times web series, where she gave a presentation on “How Covid-19 has impacted in the microbiome industry”.
Over the coming months, Seventure will also be presenting at the following event:
- Denise Kelly, Investment Advisor at Seventure, will be presenting on “Specializing and investing in the microbiome spaces” in a pre-recorded format. The presentation will be available on demand
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 innovations in Sport.
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/Ysopia Bioscience, TargEDys, A-Mansia Biotech, BiomX, Microbiotica, Anaeropharma, LiMM Therapeutics, Siolta Therapeutics, DayTwo, Zipongo (renamed Foodsmart), 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, family offices and entrepreneurs.
For more information please contact: Seventure@instinctif.comSeventure@instinctif.com