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Microbiotica Raises $66M in Series B Funding

NEW YORK – Microbiotica said on Monday that it has raised £50 million ($66 million) in a Series B funding round, which it will use to advance its microbiome-based therapies and biomarkers.

The funding was led by new investors Tencent, Flerie Invest, and British Patient Capital, as well as existing investors Cambridge Innovation Capital, IP Group, and Seventure Partners.

Cambridge, UK-based Microbiotica will use the funds to advance two of its live bacterial therapeutics (LBTs), MB097 and MB310, into Phase Ib trials. The former contains a bacteria consortium based on a microbiome signature that predicts cancer patients' response to immune checkpoint inhibitors.

The latter also comprises a consortium of bacteria for treating ulcerative colitis and has been associated with remission in a UC fecal transplant clinical study. The company described both MB097 and MB310 as precision medicines that have been validated and characterized in preclinical studies.

While the firm hasn't detailed the specific cancer types it will focus on in the Phase Ib clinical trial of MB097, much of Microbiotica's early research has centered on melanoma. The raised funds will further enable Microbiotica to expand its pipeline of biomarkers and LBTs into new disease areas, beyond cancer and UC.

The firm, which spun out of the Sanger Institute in 2016, has developed a drug development platform, which includes a leading microbiome reference genome database, culture collection, mass culturing technology, and machine-learning tools. Microbiotica uses its platform to home in on bacterial signatures that can identify best responders to treatments and discover targets for candidate bacteria therapeutics.

"As a founding investor in Microbiotica, our thesis was that, by culturing, characterizing, and stratifying the human microbiome, Microbiotica would be able to identify live biotherapeutics with the greatest chance of clinical success in the microbiome field," Sam Williams, IP Group's managing partner of life sciences, said in a statement. "The company's preclinical data suggest that so far, our thesis is proving correct."