Vedanta Biosciences, a clinical-stage company developing a new category of therapies for immune-mediated diseases based on rationally-defined consortia of human microbiome-derived bacteria, today announced that it has raised $27 million in a Series C financing with participation from new and existing strategic and institutional investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Rock Springs Capital, Invesco Asset Management, Seventure Partners, and PureTech Health. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance Vedanta Biosciences’ pipeline of microbiome-derived product candidates, including a Phase 1/2 study of VE416 in food allergy, a Phase 1b/2 study of VE800 and Opdivo (nivolumab) in advanced or metastatic cancers, and the recently initiated Phase 2 study of VE303 in recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (rCDI).
Unlike single strain or microbiome-derived metabolite approaches to microbiome modulation, Vedanta Biosciences is developing consortia of bacterial strains designed to effect robust and durable therapeutic changes in a patient's gut microbiota. In contrast to fecal transplants or administration of fecal fractions, Vedanta Biosciences' consortia are defined compositions of bacteria manufactured from pure, clonal cell banks, bypassing the need to rely on direct sourcing of fecal donor material of inconsistent composition.
“We are pleased to have the support of our new and existing investors as we continue to build on our leadership position in the microbiome field,” said Bernat Olle, Ph.D., Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vedanta Biosciences. “We have demonstrated that rationally-defined bacterial consortia as a new drug modality can be safe, well-tolerated, and have favorable pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in humans. These new funds, together with our partnerships with Janssen and Bristol-Myers Squibb, will help us advance four programs to clinical endpoints in recurrent C. difficile infection, food allergy, IBD, and several cancer indications.”
About Vedanta Biosciences
Vedanta Biosciences is a clinical-stage company developing a new category of therapies for immune-mediated diseases based on rationally-defined consortia of human microbiome-derived bacteria. Vedanta Biosciences is a leader in the microbiome field with capabilities and deep expertise to discover, develop, and manufacture live bacteria drugs. These include what is believed to be the largest collection of human microbiome-associated bacterial strains, a suite of proprietary assays to select pharmacologically potent strains, vast proprietary datasets from human interventional studies, and facilities for cGMP-compliant manufacturing of rationally-defined bacterial consortia in powder form. Vedanta Biosciences' pioneering work, in collaboration with its scientific co-founders, has led to the identification of human commensal bacteria that induce a range of immune responses – including induction of regulatory T cells, CD8+ T cells, and Th17 cells, among others. These advances have been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including Science (multiple), Nature (multiple), Cell, and Nature Immunology. Vedanta Biosciences has harnessed these biological insights and its capabilities to generate a pipeline of programs in autoimmune disease, allergy, infectious disease, and immuno-oncology.
Vedanta Biosciences was founded by PureTech Health (PRTC.L). Its scientific co-founders are world-renowned experts in immunology and microbiology who have pioneered the fields of innate immunity, Th17 and regulatory T cell biology, and include Ruslan Medzhitov, Ph.D., (Yale and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)), Brett Finlay, Ph.D., (University of British Columbia and HHMI), Kenya Honda, Ph.D., (inventor of Vedanta Biosciences' lead product candidate; Keio University and RIKEN), Dan Littman, Ph.D., (New York University and HHMI), Alexander Rudensky, Ph.D., (Sloan Kettering and HHMI), and Jeremiah Faith, Ph.D., (Mount Sinai School of Medicine).
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