Nextbiotix, a microbiome biotech company developing innovative Live Biotherapeutics using commensal bacteria as drugs to treat major inflammatory bowel diseases, today announced that it has completed a ¤7m Series A financing round to bring its lead candidate into the clinic.
Nextbiotix is developing microbiome-based therapies using single microbial strains that interact with human cells in the gut. Acting more effectively on immunomodulatory pathways, they are intended to significantly improve the lives of patients suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases.
When it comes to having access to safer drugs, patients’ and physicians’ expectations are especially high. There are no cures for these life-long diseases, and existing treatments systematically target the patients’ immune systems, with only limited success. For example, most Crohn’s disease patients experience repetitive flares, inflicting irreparable damage on their intestines. As a consequence, 70% of these patients may have to undergo serious surgery at least once in their lifetime.
Inflammatory bowel diseases are a significant burden to society, affecting approximately 1.5 million Americans, 2.2 million Europeans, and several hundreds of thousands more worldwide. Gut microbiome imbalances are known to play a major role in these diseases, yet, they are still left unaddressed.
It is Nextbiotix’s ambition to bring gut microbiota back into the therapeutic equation using a bacterium called Faecalibacterium prausnitzii.
Nextbiotix was founded by the pioneer team that led the discoveries of this naturally-occurring bacteria, which has been shown to be predictive of good health in the human gut microbiota.
Internationally-renowned researchers, Prof. Harry Sokol (Professor of Gastro-enterology at AP-HP/Sorbonne University), Dr. Philippe Langella (microbiologist and Research Director at INRA Jouy-en-Josas) and Prof. Patrick Gervais (Professor emeritus of Process Engineering at University of Burgundy/AgroSup Dijon), combined their complementary areas of expertise for over ten years to make a Faecalibacterium prausnitzii-based therapeutic approach possible. This is just another example of France being at the cutting edge of the microbiome field.
The Series A round was led by Auriga Partners, alongside with Sofimac Innovation, Cap Innov’Est, INRA, and Biocodex, an independent multinational pharmaceutical company, specifically focused on the gastro-enterology and microbiota fields.
Robust science, promising therapeutic and economic potential, as well as close-knit relationships with its home academic institutes made this significant first round of financing achievable.
Laurence Bougneres-Vermont from Auriga Partners, Jean-Briac Lesne from Sofimac Innovation, Jean-François Rax from Cap Innov’Est, Réjane Le Tinevez from INRA and Jean-Marie Lefevre from Biocodex commented: "We are very happy and proud to participate in this new venture in the microbiota realm, alongside recognized and esteemed Founder Experts. This innovative and promising therapeutic approach potentially offers new perspectives to patients and contributes to the fulfilment of unmet medical needs."
« I am particularly proud to see Nextbiotix coming out of the ground of the longstanding relationship we have established with Auriga Partners over the last year and a half. The support of our incubators Paris Biotech Santé and Wilco was also pivotal in this success. Together we have managed to assemble a very robust and complementary team of investors bringing a wide range of expertise to the table. We are delighted to have raised a first round of financing significant enough to support our efforts in bringing a revolutionary new class of medicines, called Live Biotherapeutics, to patients », said Benjamin Hadida, CEO of Nextbiotix.