Netbiotix has raised €7.5M to bring its lead candidate for inflammatory bowel disease into clinical trials. The treatment uses a bacterium found in the gut to prevent and dampen inflammation.
The company, based in Paris, develops treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that consist of a single microbial strain that interacts with cells in the intestine. The Series A round was led by Auriga Partners, who were joined by other investors, including Biocodex, a multinational pharmaceutical company focused on gastroenterology and microbiome research.
Netbiotix’s lead treatment uses a bacterium, called Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, which according to the company is the most abundant bacteria in the whole human gut microbiome. The bacterium stimulates an anti-inflammatory immune response in the gut by activating certain cell signalling pathways in intestinal cells. This effect could potentially improve the lives of patients with IBD. However, it remains difficult to generate good results with single strain microbiome therapeutics.
IBD can affect the entire digestive tract, from the mouth through the large intestine, and can cause severe pain and in some cases even be life-threatening. Awareness for the role of the gut microbiome in a wide range of diseases is growing. For example, earlier this year UK biotech Microbiotica entered into a partnership with Genentech, worth up to €452M ($534M), to develop microbiome-based treatments for IBD. Other biotechs are increasingly looking to gut bacteria for new treatments as well. Enterome, the most advanced microbiome company in the IBD space, raised €32M earlier this year to bring its candidate for Crohn’s disease through Phase II.
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