French venture fund bets on Japanese microbiome firm with €11.6 m investment

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

French venture fund bets on Japanese microbiome firm with €11.6 m investment

Related tags: Cancer

Seventure’s Health for Life Capital fund has announced a €11.6 million ($13.2m) financing of Tokyo-based microbiome firm Anaeropharma Science.

The Japanese firm is developing novel genetically enhanced bacteria for medical applications – specifically aimed at fighting tumours.

The investment is alongside a number of Japanese investors and Novartis Pharma, Seventure Partners confirmed.

Anaeropharma’s lead product APS001F (based on obligate anaerobic bacterium Bifidobacterium longum​) can only grow in the hypoxic core of solid tumors, where it secretes the enzyme cytosine deaminase turning a systemically administered prodrug into a cytotoxic agent, which hollows out the tumor from the inside.

“There is a huge market opportunity for novel treatments that harness the specific capabilities of microbiome-derived bacteria,”​ said Isabelle de Cremoux, CEO and Managing Partner of Seventure Partners. “Anaeropharma Science is developing a pioneering approach to the cancer therapy, which may powerfully complement other axes of modern oncology research.”

The Company is currently conducting a Phase 1b/2a trial of APS001F in patients with advanced solid tumours in the U.S.

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