The new investment of €450,000 brings the total capital raised by Carbiotix to €700,000 to date, however CEO Kristofer Cook told NutraIngredients that the firm is already planning a larger full seed round in the first quarter of 2019 as it looks to continue its investment and development.
"This financing round is based upon a validation of our consumer platform and competitive position going forward. We look forward to growing this platform and ramping up activities especially with regards to therapeutics development", said Cook.
Cook told NutraIngredients that the current pre-seed financing – made up mostly of local investors and angels – will help the company to continue growth in its consumer-facing microbiome test and personalised prebiotic businesses.
“The next natural step is to continue investing in marketing and sales to allow us to expand sales, but also further invest in pushing down the costs of the tests even further - because that is out key competitive advantage going forward.”
Cook added that the funds will also allow Carbiotix to start the process of a physical expansion too it looks to create a ‘physical presence in key markets.’
“We see that there are opportunities to reduce costs even further by having a physical presence initially in the North American market and then eventually in the Asian market as well,” he said.
Therapeutics focus: Seed round imminent
The CEO noted that Carbiotix plans to close its first external seed financing round at the beginning of 2019 as it looks to support physical expansion in key markets as well as conduct more extensive pre-clinical work in the microbiome therapeutics area.
"There we will probably be lo0oking to raise about €1 million,” Cook told us. “That's the plan right now."
“Our long-term ambition has always been to be working in consumer space to leverage our platform - and this is where think we have a unique aspect in the sense that from the outset our platform was not only intended to serve the consumer to increase the amount of soluble fibre and improve gut health, but it was also a way for us to identify interesting candidates for therapeutics development.”
Cook said the company hopes to build a pipeline of therapeutic candidates and will ‘eventually’ plan to commence pre-clinical work to develop candidates – most likely with external partners.
“We see therapeutics as a way to accelerate an individuals gut health,” he noted. “We're going to be targeting different metabolic and chronic diseases that other companies in the space are doing as well.”
Cook said Carbiotix will prioritise candidates that the company considers to be implicated in the root cause of potential metabolic or chronic disorders - rather than looking at something to treat the symptoms.
“It's a natural next step of starting to ramp up our therapeutics development, on the exploration side but also on the pre-clinical side as well,” he added.
“Probably by the end of the year we will be able to provide a bit more transparency in terms of different indications we are focusing on and our pipeline in terms of where we are and potentially even who we may be working with in that context.”
The CEO said microbiome therapeutics avenues opens up ‘many opportunities’ to work with different parties "because we are sort of that crossover between food, functional food, and pharma. And the lines are becoming even more blurry."