Vedanta Biosciences, a Cambridge, MA-based developer of a new class of therapies designed to modulate the human microbiome, raised $50m in new equity funding.
Backers included new investors Rock Springs Capital, Invesco Asset Management and Health For Life Capital (Seventure) and existing investor PureTech.
The company intends to use the funds to advance multiple clinical studies in infectious and autoimmune diseases and to scale its technology platform.
Led by Bernat Olle, Ph.D., CEO, Vedanta Biosciences has built a proprietary platform for the discovery, development, and manufacturing of drugs based on live commensal microbes.
Using its platform, the company 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 already signed a first deal with a pharmaceutical company in the microbiome field in a licensing agreement with Johnson & Johnson with up-front and milestone payments of up to $339m.
The company was founded by PureTech Health (PureTech Health plc, PRTC.L) and a group of experts in immunology and microbiology including:
– 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).
The 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.