4D Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company focusing on significant new therapeutic areas, plan to raise €46M to continue the development of its drugs candidates and to exploit its microbiome platform MicroRx. Will 4DPharma be the next UK’s microbiome leader?
This English company, founded in early 2014, has focused its current interests solely in the microbiome field and the discovery and development of bacteria as living biotherapeutics. This field, which is a new class of therapeutics, could deliver a significant step forward in the healthcare market, developing medicines showing efficacy with a greatly improved safety profile. In July 2014, the company raised €28.5M, taking the total raised to €99.7M, in order to develop its existing products: Thetanix and Rosburix, and Micro Rx, the company’s proprietary discovery platform.
Thetanix, a Paediatric Crohn’s Disease, will commence clinical trials in the second quarter of 2015. The company’s second product in development, Rosburix, received orphan drug designation from the FDA in August 2014 for the treatment of Paediatric Ulcerative Colitis (PUC).
4D’s intentions also include identifying, developing and ultimately acquiring other microbiome related projects. In July 2014, the company acquired an additional living biotherapeutic, Blautix, a treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Clinical trials of Blautix are expected to commence also in the second quarter of 2015.
Lastly, 4D also continues to discover and develop new living biotherapeutic candidates using its MicroRx platform. This technology allows the rapid screening of the company’s library of commensal bacteria, isolated from the human gut, looking for therapeutic effect. The platform is initially focussed on the discovery of potential treatments for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
Last month, the company reported it had identified a number of bacteria that had demonstrated therapeutically relevant effects in pre-clinical models of rheumatoid arthritis, allergic asthma and severe, steroid resistant asthma. The ability of the Micro Rx platform to rationally select bacteria and demonstrate therapeutically relevant effects in a matter of months could enable the rapid selection and development of live biotherapeutic drug candidates for a wide range of important human diseases.
Having demonstrated the ability of the MicroRx platform to identify potential living biotherapeutic drug candidates for non-gut diseases such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, the 4D intends to build its discovery and development capability, to enable a greater number of candidates to be progressed towards the clinic.
These news underline the high interest towards the microbiome industry, as reported in our last article: The Microbiome Industry, When The Potential Turns Into Groundbreaking Applications
Will this good news for 4D Pharma allow it to be one of the leading Biotech companies in this emerging and attractive field that is microbiome-linked therapeutics?