The Paris-based firm – which recently moved it’s its research laboratories to the Genopole biocluster specialising in biotechnology, genomics and genetics – said it has raised €32 million in a Series D financing round.
All existing Enterome investors, including 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 company said in a press release.
"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,” commented Enterome CEO Pierre Belichard. “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.”
Proceeds from the fundraising will be used to progress two proof-of concept clinical trials for 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).
“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,” Belichard added.
In conjunction with its Series D 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.’
"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,” he added. “This is an innovative financing operation that will have a strong impact on the health and daily life of Europe's citizens."
Enterome has already established multiple partnerships with leading pharmaceutical, consumer healthcare 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.
Furthermore, the firm 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.
In addition to the clinical developments in its programs for its EB8018 Crohn's disease target and EO2315 oncology candidate, Enterome will pursue the development of the next generation of its proprietary metagenomics drug discovery platform, it said.
"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."
Meanwhile Paolo Siviero, head of investments at Principia SGR, the Italian venture firm ‘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,” he added.