Vedanta Biosciences, a Cambridge, Mass.-based clinical-stage company developing therapies for immune-mediated diseases based on rationally-defined consortia of human microbiome-derived bacteria, raised $27m in Series C financing.
Backers included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Rock Springs Capital, Invesco Asset Management, Seventure Partners, and PureTech Health.
The company intends to use the funds to advance its pipeline of microbiome-derived product candidates, including a Phase 1/2 study of VE416 in food allergy, a Phase 1b/2 study of VE800 and Opdivo (nivolumab) in advanced or metastatic cancers, and the recently initiated Phase 2 study of VE303 in recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (rCDI).
Led by Bernat Olle, Ph.D., Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Vedanta Biosciences develops a new category of therapies for immune-mediated diseases based on rationally-defined consortia of human microbiome-derived bacteria. The company is a leader in the microbiome field with capabilities and deep expertise to discover, develop, and manufacture live bacteria drugs.
These include a large collection of human microbiome-associated bacterial strains, a suite of proprietary assays to select pharmacologically potent strains, vast proprietary datasets from human interventional studies, and facilities for cGMP-compliant manufacturing of rationally-defined bacterial consortia in powder form.
Its work, in collaboration with its scientific co-founders, has led to the identification of human commensal bacteria that induce a range of immune responses – including induction of regulatory T cells, CD8+ T cells, and Th17 cells, among others.
Vedanta Biosciences was founded by PureTech Health (PRTC.L). Its scientific co-founders are:
– Ruslan Medzhitov, Ph.D., (Yale and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)),
– Brett Finlay, Ph.D., (University of British Columbia and HHMI),
– Kenya Honda, Ph.D., (inventor of Vedanta Biosciences’ lead product candidate; Keio University and RIKEN),
– Dan Littman, Ph.D., (New York University and HHMI),
– Alexander Rudensky, Ph.D., (Sloan Kettering and HHMI), and
– Jeremiah Faith, Ph.D., (Mount Sinai School of Medicine).