All current Enterome investors - Seventure, Health for Life Capital, LundbeckFonden Ventures, Omnes Capital and Nestlé Health Science - participated in the round, alongside new venture investor Principia SGR and strategic investor Bristol-Myers Squibb.
The proceeds of the fundraising will be used primarily to progress two proof-of concept clinical trials of Enterome's lead development programs, a Phase 2 study of the Company's oral FimH blocker EB8018 for the treatment of Crohn's disease, and a Phase 1b study of EO2315, a novel immuno-oncology candidate, in patients with aggressive brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme).
In addition, Enterome will pursue the development of the next generation of its proprietary metagenomics drug discovery platform, reinforcing its leadership in the discovery and development of new therapeutic leads and targets for microbiome-associated diseases and expanding the reach of its technology platforms.
In conjunction with its equity financing, Enterome has entered into an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for access to a €40 million loan facility to further support the acceleration of its pipeline and technology development.
Enterome's EB8018 is a novel, first-in-class oral small molecule that is gut-restricted and minimally absorbed into the bloodstream. It represents a non-biologic, non-steroidal, non-immunomodulatory approach for the treatment of Crohn's Disease. EB8018 inhibits FimH-mediated adhesion of some pro-inflammatory bacteria invading the microbiome of Crohn's patients, such as Adherent Invasive Escherichia coli and Klebsiella, to receptors in the gut wall, thereby reducing the production of inflammatory cytokines including TNF. EB8018 successfully completed a Phase 1 trial in 2017, demonstrating safety and minimal blood absorption.
In IO, EO2315 is the lead candidate originating from Enterome's technology platform, which is being applied to discover novel bacterial antigens that display similarities with cancer antigens. Such bacterial antigens have been shown to trigger a robust immune response against host antigens specifically expressed in tumors in animal models, thus providing innovative solutions to making cancer cells the target of the adaptive immune system.
Enterome has already demonstrated that EO2315 generates a strong immune response against an undisclosed tumor target, resulting in potent tumor cell-killing ex vivo and controlled tumor growth in vivo when combined with a checkpoint inhibitor.
Pierre Belichard, Chief Executive Officer of Enterome, said: "We are very pleased to receive the funding and support from this group of current and new investors, who have recognized the potential, versatility, and uniqueness of our microbiome-derived drug discovery platform. The microbiome influences many areas of human disease through its effects on the immune system, and we believe that many new therapies will be discovered based on a greater understanding of its function. Enterome, which is at the forefront of this approach, is already developing two exciting programs based on this knowledge and this financing will allow us to progress these programs through the major inflection points of clinical proof of concept, and to expand our clinical work to additional inflammatory bowel diseases and oncology indications."
Paolo Siviero, Head of Investments at Principia SGR, said: "We are very pleased to join a prestigious syndicate of venture and strategic investors - we strongly believe Enterome is geared to achieve the major clinical milestones that are ahead. We are convinced that the differentiated approach pioneered by Enterome in the field of immune diseases caused by defects of the gut microbiome, will lead to the successful development of a new therapeutic arsenal against immune-related disorders affecting millions of people around the world."
"Enterome's innovative research in the gut microbiome and its role in the immune system across cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases offers a tremendous opportunity to discover differentiated therapies to help patients," said Paul Biondi, senior vice president, head of Business Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "We are excited to support their continued progress in microbiome-derived drug discovery and development."
"Enterome has been the first investment of our microbiome fund Health for Life Capital," said Seventure Partners CEO Isabelle de Cremoux. "We are proud to see that our initial support is backed by a unique mix of strategic and finance investors to support Enterome's pipeline at a very exciting point of its development."
"Supporting innovation and businesses is a priority of the European Union's bank. It is our responsibility to create the optimal conditions for financing research in biotech companies, which is essential for developing new treatments," said EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle. "The gut microbiome is becoming a key strategic area in both medical and pharmaceutical worlds, so the EIB is very pleased to support Enterome's innovation and development projects in such a strategic field. This is an innovative financing operation that will have a strong impact on the health and daily life of Europe's citizens."
Enterome is pioneering the development of novel pharmaceuticals and diagnostics to support personalized therapies in microbiome-related diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and cancer.
Enterome is also leading the development of new industry standards in gut microbiome quantitative and functional analysis. This technology leadership allows Enterome to open up the new field of therapeutic target discovery in the microbiome in order to address significant unmet medical needs.
Enterome has established partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies and academic research institutes, including Johnson & Johnson Innovation/Janssen Biotech, Takeda and Abbvie in inflammatory bowel and gastro-intestinal diseases; and Bristol-Myers Squibb in immuno-oncology.
Enterome also has a 50/50 joint venture with Nestlé Health Science, called Microbiome Diagnostics Partners, focused initially on the development of novel microbiome-based diagnostics for IBD and liver diseases.
The Company was established in 2012 in Paris (France) to develop the discoveries made by the INRA metagenomic platform, and is backed by leading venture capital investors (Seventure Partners, Lundbeckfonden Ventures, Health for Life Capital, Omnes Capital and Principia) and strategic investors (BMS, Nestlé Health Science, Shire & INRA Transfert).
Additional information about Enterome is available through its website: www.enterome.com
About Principia SGR
Principia SGR, founded in 2002, is one of the leading Italian venture capital operators.
The SGR currently manages 4 investment fund: Principia II, Principia III - Health, Principia IV - Alis and Principia V Utopia. The fund Principia III - Health, dedicated to Venture and Growth capital investments in the Healthcare sector, raised 206 million euros, and made 9 investments as of today deploying 80 million euros. Principia IV - Alis is the fourth Fund of the SGR dedicated to the development of the excellence of Made in Italy, focused on fashion and design. The fund it is currently in fund raising. Principia Utopia is the most recent Fund launched by Principia with a target size of €70 million. The Fund has a very well-defined strategy: funding and supporting Life-Tech start ups for patents development in the first and second stage with management of the intellectual property. The focus will be on projects that develop molecules, curative devices and advanced diagnostics for prevention.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit us at BMS.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
About the European Investment Bank Group
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the EU bank, and together with the European Investment Fund (EIF) forms the EIB Group. Thanks to its reliable expertise and the financial attractiveness of its AAA rating, the EIB Group has doubled the volume of its activities in France since 2012 (reaching EUR 9.3bn in 2016), not only supporting SMEs and innovation but also financing investment in strategic sectors such as climate action, energy, healthcare, education for young people and training facilities. Follow the EIB Group: www.eib.org Twitter: @eib
About Health For Life Capital™
Seventure Partners launched Health for Life Capital™, the first venture capital fund focused mainly on investments in the microbiome, food and nutrition space. Europe is the primary focus of the fund, but it also invests in North America, Israel and Asia. The €160m fund attracted strategic investments from prestigious organizations including Danone, Novartis, Tereos, Tornier, Lesaffre and Bel, as well as financial institutions and entrepreneurs. Health for Life Capital™ is managed by Seventure's Life sciences team.
Pierre Belichard, CEO
Mark Swallow / Marine Perrier / David Dible
Citigate Dewe Rogerson