French Enterome Completes EUR 32M Series D Financing Round
ENTEROME SA, a clinical-stage biotech company pioneering innovative therapies to treat microbiome-associated diseases with a focus on inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and immuno-oncology (IO) indications, announces that it has raised €32 million in a Series D financing. 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).