Cambridge, UK, 7th March 2022 – 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.
Microbiotica is a leading player in the field of microbiome-based therapeutics, biomarkers and targets. The Company is building a growing pipeline of differentiated products based on high quality clinical datasets and unique bacterial signatures that drive biology, identified by its proprietary platform.
Consisting of the leading microbiome Reference Genome Database, Culture Collection, mass culturing technology (Personalised Bacterial Bank) and proprietary AI tools, Microbiotica’s platform enables unrivalled strain-level microbiome analysis linked to patient phenotypes. The Company’s current therapeutic areas of focus are immuno-oncology and IBD and it has established major clinical and academic partnerships in these areas.
Spun out of the Sanger Institute in 2016, the Company is based at Chesterford Research Park near Cambridge, UK. Microbiotica’s investor syndicate includes British Patient Capital, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Flerie Invest, IP Group plc, Seventure Partners, and Tencent.
About British Patient Capital
British Patient Capital is the trading name of British Patient Capital Limited, a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, the UK government’s economic development bank. It forms part of the British Business Bank’s plc’s commercial arm.
Its mission is to enable long-term investment in innovative firms led by ambitious entrepreneurs who want to build large scale businesses. Launched in June 2018, British Patient Capital has £2.5bn to invest over 10 years in venture and venture growth capital to support high growth potential innovative UK businesses in accessing the long-term financing they require to scale up. Find out more at britishpatientcapital.co.uk.
British Business Bank plc and its subsidiary entities are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.
British Patient Capital makes commitments and invests on its own behalf and on behalf of third-party investors whose investments British Patient Capital manages.
The investment from British Patient Capital into Microbiotica does not amount to any endorsement or warranty from British Patient Capital, the British Business Bank plc, or the government of the UK.
About Cambridge Innovation Capital
Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) is a leading venture investor backing and building category-leading deep tech and life sciences companies. CIC currently manages more than £300 million and has invested in 30+ companies. CIC is a preferred investor for the University of Cambridge, Europe’s top source of founders for venture-backed start-ups.
Cambridge Innovation Capital Manager Limited (FRN:918898) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. For more information, please visit www.cic.vc or follow us on Twitter at @CIC_vc and LinkedIn.
About Flerie Invest
Flerie Invest is a Swedish biotech and pharma investor managing a portfolio of more than 20 companies in Sweden, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Iceland, and Israel. The portfolio companies are engaged in a wide range of areas including immuno-oncology, metabolic diseases and biologics development and manufacturing. The present investment focus is on drug development and tools for drug development. The company was founded in 2010 by Thomas Eldered, who also co-founded and built Recipharm to be one of the top five CDMOs globally. Flerie Invest is based in Stockholm and London.
About IP Group plc
IP Group is a leading intellectual property commercialisation company which focuses on evolving great ideas, mainly from its partner universities, into world-changing businesses. The Group has pioneered a unique approach to developing these ideas and the resulting businesses by providing access to business building expertise, capital (through its 100%-owned FCA-authorised subsidiaries IP Capital and Parkwalk Advisors), networks, recruitment and business support. IP Group has a strong track record of success and its portfolio comprises holdings in early-stage to mature businesses across life sciences and technology. IP Group is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange under the code IPO.
For more information, please visit our website at www.ipgroupplc.com.
About Seventure Partners
Seventure Partners is a long-term equity investor who actively supports innovative companies aiming at generating positive impacts on Humankind, Society, Sustainability and the Planet.
With €900m net commitments under management as of the end of 2021, Seventure is a leading venture capital firm in Europe investing since 1997 in innovative businesses with high growth potential in 2 main fields: Life sciences (Health & digital Health, Nutrition, Foodtech, Blue Economy, Aquaculture, Animal & Agriculture, Sport & Wellness with a specific interest for MICROBIOME-related innovations …) across Europe, Israel, Asia and North America and Digital technologies in Europe.
Investments can range between €500k and €10m per round, or up to €20m per company, from early to late stage, growth, pre-IPO and IPO.
With Health for Life Capital™ funds (160ME and 250ME) and its co-investments funds, Seventure is worldwide leader in microbiome investments with more than 20 microbiome companies in portfolio to date.
Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users.
Our communication and social services, Weixin and QQ, connect users with each other and with digital content and services, both online and offline, making their lives more convenient. Our targeted advertising service helps advertisers reach out to hundreds of millions of consumers in China. Our FinTech and business services support our partners’ business growth and assist their digital upgrade.
Tencent invests heavily in talent and technological innovation, actively promoting the development of the Internet industry. Tencent was founded in Shenzhen, China, in 1998. Shares of Tencent (00700.HK) are listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.
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