Cambridge Startup Vedanta Biosciences Bags $50 Million to Make 'Rationally Defined' Bugs into Drugs

Published: Jun 06, 2016

Vedanta Biosciences Closes $50 Million Financing to Advance Microbiome Therapeutics

The funding will accelerate infectious and autoimmune disease programs to the clinic and support scale up of the company’s technology platform

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vedanta Biosciences, pioneering the development of a new class of therapies designed to modulate the human microbiome, today announced that it has raised $50 million in new equity investments. New investors Rock Springs Capital, Invesco Asset Management and Health For Life Capital (Seventure) were joined by PureTech in the financing. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance multiple clinical studies in infectious and autoimmune diseases and to scale the company’s technology platform.

“This financing positions us to advance multiple candidates that have emerged from our discovery platform into clinical trials.”

“We are grateful for the strong support from venture and leading public healthcare investors who share our vision to take the microbiome field beyond fecal transplants and into rationally defined bacterial consortia,” said Bernat Olle, Ph.D., CEO of Vedanta Biosciences. “This financing positions us to advance multiple candidates that have emerged from our discovery platform into clinical trials.”

Vedanta Biosciences has built a proprietary platform for the discovery, development, and manufacturing of drugs based on live commensal microbes. Using its platform, Vedanta has isolated a vast collection of human-associated bacterial strains, characterized how the immune system recognizes and responds to these microbes, and generated a pipeline of drug candidates consisting of defined bacterial consortia in development for infectious disease, immune tolerance, inflammation, and immuno-oncology. Vedanta’s platform is built on pioneering work published in Science, Nature and Cell, among other peer-reviewed journals. The Company attracted the first large deal with a pharmaceutical company in the microbiome field in a landmark licensing agreement with Johnson & Johnson with up-front and milestone payments of up to $339 million. The Company recently expanded into a new headquarters and research and development facility in Cambridge, MA, including a state-of-the-art Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility for fully integrated discovery and production of live bacterial drugs.

About Vedanta Biosciences
Vedanta Biosciences is pioneering a novel class of therapies designed to modulate pathways of interaction between the human microbiome and the host immune system. The first to rationally design a drug candidate based on consortia of human commensal bacteria, Vedanta has capabilities that enable discovery, development, and manufacturing of drugs based on live commensal microbes. Vedanta is advancing a pipeline of product candidates designed to treat autoimmune, inflammatory and infectious diseases, which have been developed using Vedanta’s proprietary technology platform.

Vedanta Biosciences was founded by PureTech Health (PureTech Health plc, PRTC.L) and a group of leading experts in immunology and microbiology. Vedanta’s scientific co-founders have pioneered the fields of innate immunity, Th17 and regulatory T cell biology, and include Dr. Ruslan Medzhitov (Professor of Immunobiology at Yale), Dr. Alexander Rudensky (tri-institutional Professor at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute, the Rockefeller University and Cornell University), Dr. Dan Littman (Professor of Molecular Immunology at NYU), Dr. Brett Finlay (Professor at the University of British Columbia) and Dr. Kenya Honda (Professor, School of Medicine, Keio University). Vedanta’s Board of Directors includes Board Chairman Christopher Viehbacher, Managing Partner at Gurnet Point Capital and former CEO and Member of the Board of Directors of Sanofi; Dr. Bennett Shapiro, former Executive Vice President of Merck; Dr. John LaMattina, former President of research and development at Pfizer and David Steinberg, Co-Founder of Vedanta and Executive Vice President at PureTech.

Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains statements that are or may be forward-looking statements, including statements that relate to the company's future prospects, developments and strategies. The forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from current expectations, including, but not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in the risk factors included in the regulatory filings for PureTech Health plc. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of the company and the environment in which it will operate in the future. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as at the date of this press release. Except as required by law and regulatory requirements, neither the company nor any other party intends to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contacts

PureTech
Julie DiCarlo, +1 617-456-0032
Senior Vice President, Communications and Investor Relations

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