Enterome will use the money to progress two of its leading microbiome programs for the treatment of Crohn’s disease and an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Enterome is a pioneer in the exciting field of microbiome-based therapies for diseases like inflammatory bowel diseases and cancer. This morning, the company has announced that it has raised €32M in a Series D financing round from investors like Seventure, Health for Life Capital, and Omnes Capital. In addition, Enterome has also secured the support of the European Investment Bank, which is willing to provide an extra €40M loan to support extra research.
The money will help Enterome to push its oral Crohn’s disease drug, EB8018, through Phase II and its immuno-oncology candidate, EO2315, into Phase I.
EB8018 is an oral small molecule that represents a non-immunomodulatory approach to the treatment of Crohn’s Disease. Instead, it inhibits FimH-mediated binding of inflammatory bacteria that are invading the gut, which helps to reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines like tumor necrosis factor (TNF). The candidate has already completed a Phase I trial, during which it demonstrated safety and minimal blood absorption.
EO2315 was discovered using Enterome’s technology platform, which identifies bacterial antigens that are similar to cancer antigens. These bacterial antigens trigger a strong immune response against cancers in animal models, allowing the effective treatment of the disease. EO2315 has already demonstrated its capacity to potently kill tumor cells in the lab and control tumor growth when used with a checkpoint inhibitor in vivo.
Pierre Belichard, CEO of Enterome, commented: “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… This financing will allow us to progress through the clinical proof of concept and expand our clinical work.”
Biotechs like BiomX have started to investigate the microbiome due to the excitement around the field and the money that is flooding in. The company, which produces viruses to selectively destroy bacteria causing inflammatory diseases and cancer, acquired microbiome specialist RondinX in December. Elsewhere, Eligo Bioscience is combining the microbiome with CRISPR to create nanobots to treat diseases of the gut. In addition, Enterome hopes to develop the next generation of its metagenomics drug discovery platform but faces competition from Biomillenia and Qiagen, which are developing a microbiome-on-a-chip.
With an increasing number of biotechs looking into the power of the microbiome, we might soon find new therapies for difficult-to-treat conditions like cancer. Enterome is leading the way in the field at the moment, partnering up with big companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb and Nestlé, and this latest injection of cash will give the company a chance to test its technology more rigorously.
Images – Juan Gaertner / shutterstock.com; Enterome