Seres Health, Cambridge, MA based, a contender in the haute field of microbiome therapeutics, just hauled in a $48 million Series C round.
The startup’s developing biologics that target recurrent C.difficile infections.
The company plans to use the funding to advance its lead candidate, SER-109, into Phase 3 clinical trials. If approved, Seres’ therapeutic line – called Ecobiotic – will be the first oral microbiome-related therapeutic that receives the regulatory go-ahead.
The Ecobiotic system works by “augmenting the biology of the microbiome,” Seres said. In September it released results from its earlier SER-109 trial, in which 29 of the study’s 30 patients were completely cured of their C. dificile infections over the course of 8 weeks. The patients received oral doses of Seres’ microbiome “spores” – that is, precursors to “good” gut bacteria that mature into disease-fighting agents. They’ve been isolated from human fecal matter, then delivered in pill-form to the patient – a promising approach given the growing bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
In addition to treating clostridium-related disease, Seres’ pipeline pursues other as-yet-unnamed indications in the metabolic, inflammatory and infectious disease spaces.
Seres Health was launched in 2012 by Flagship Ventures. This past June, it teamed up with Mayo Clinic for an exclusive research partnership.
*Please note – The C Diff Foundation does not endorse this product or any product and this posting is strictly for informational purposes only.
*In The News* Seres Health, a clinical-stage therapeutics company developing novel treatments for diseases related to the human microbiome, today announced that it has received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a pharmaceutical composition patent application that covers its lead product candidate, SER-109, which is currently in clinical testing for the treatment of recurrent C. difficile.
The patent to be issued from this allowed application entitled “Synergistic Bacterial Compositions and Methods of Production and Use Thereof” carries a patent term to at least 2033, and specifically claims therapeutic compositions of bacterial populations that are cytotoxic or cytostatic to pathogens, including in combination with anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-viral agents. Similar applications have been filed with the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
“This notice of allowance is an important step forward not only for Seres but for the microbiome field in general,” said Dr. Roger J. Pomerantz, President, CEO and Chairman of Seres Health. “We are driven to obtaining strong patent protection for SER-109, as well as our other clinical candidates, as we continue development with the goal of bringing our first-in-field product to patients.”
The forthcoming patent, published as US Patent Publication 20140147425, is the first to emerge from the company’s patent portfolio that includes over 30 applications. Utilizing its proprietary platform for microbiome-based drug discovery, Seres rationally designs therapeutics based on the ecological nature of the microbiome, catalyzing a shift from a diseased microbiome to one of health. SER-109, the first Seres Ecobiotic® product tested in clinical studies, has demonstrated clinical efficacy for recurrent C. Difficile infections. The company is rapidly growing its pipeline of Ecobiotic® therapeutics for other indications.
SER-109 is the first Seres Health Ecobiotic® product currently in clinical testing for the treatment of Clostridium Difficile Infection (CDI). SER-109 was developed utilizing the Seres Health Microbiome Therapeutics platform to understand the ecologies of disease associated with CDI and identify an efficient means to catalyze a shift to health. CDI is a rapidly growing problem associated with antibiotic use. Over 700,000 cases of CDI are reported each year, leading to more than 250,000 hospitalizations and over 14,000 fatalities annually in the U.S. alone. Over 200,000 of these patients have at least one recurrence, for which no drugs are currently approved. SER-109 has demonstrated clinical efficacy, and a late-stage trial is expected to start by the end of 2014.
About Seres Health
Seres Health is a clinical-stage therapeutics company focused on discovering and developing Ecobiotic® therapeutic products, novel drugs to treat important diseases by targeting the underlying biology of the human microbiome. Founded by Flagship VentureLabs, Seres is pioneering the first therapeutics that catalyze a shift to health by augmenting the biology of the microbiome. Current candidates span infectious, metabolic, and inflammatory diseases. Seres recently announced a research agreement with Mayo Clinic and has received over $20 million in funding to date. For more information, please visit www.sereshealth.com.
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