- 5th investment in the microbiome space of Seventure´ Health for Life Capital Investment Vehicle
Seventure, one of Europe’s leaders in financing innovation and visionary investor in the microbiome field since 2008, today announced the investment of €2m in a seed round financing for Eligo Bioscience. Seventure has led this round.
Eligo Biosciences is a spin-off from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Rockefeller University, and is based at Institut Pasteur in Paris. The Company uses its Eligo technology to design new ultraprecise antibiotics, called Eligobiotics that target harmful bacteria while sparing beneficial ones.
Isabelle de Cremoux, President and CEO at Seventure Partners, said, “In the ongoing microbiome revolution, where the interactions between health and bacteria are proved crucial, Eligo’s approach is a major shift forward being able to target even resistant bacteria with this precision. This is a very exciting area of medicine.”
Current treatments against bacterial infections kill all bacteria indiscriminately, whether they are the ones causing the infection or are the beneficial microbiota. As a result, the long term impact of the ‘cure’ can have a far less positive impact in the long term on the overall health of patient.
The Eligo science behind Eligobiotics is based on CRISPR technology and they are delivered by capsids from bacteriophages. In this way, they attack harmful or even resistant bacteria in a very targeted way, whilst leveraging good microbiota within a patient. This method promotes competition between the bacteria and uses the environmental pressure applied by the beneficial bacteria to stop the infection.
Eligo technology has potential applications in many areas of microbiome in humans, animals or agriculture. In humans, this includes skin, mouth or vaginal microbiome, as well as gut microbiome.
Sebastien Groyer, Partner at Seventure and new board member at Eligo Bioscience, said, “Research and development within the area of microbiome has expanded exponentially in recent times. Eligo’s technology is unique and it has first mover advantage over others in this sector. Its products have the potential to dramatically change the way in which we treat multiple infectious diseases while contributing to the understanding of others.”
Xavier Duportet, CEO at Eligo Bioscience, concluded, “We are really excited since this is the first time we have a tool to edit the microbiome with such specificity. This investment will not only help us develop 2 lead candidates but also to develop our microbiome editing platform to go beyond the treatment of infectious disease.“
About Seventure Partners
As one of the leading venture capital firms in Europe, Seventure manages more than €500m at the end of 2014. Since 1997, the firm has been investing in innovative businesses with high growth potential, in Digital Technologies in France and Germany, and in Life Sciences across Europe.
In Life Sciences, Seventure’s four preferred sectors are:
- Microbiome, lifestyle healthcare, personalised medicine and nutrition
- Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals
- Connected health and medtech
- Industrial biotechnology and cleantech
The firm will also look at companies or technologies in diagnostics, biomarkers, drug delivery systems, and services.
A typical investment by Seventure ranges from €500k to €10m per round and up to €20m per company, from early to later stage.
Seventure is a subsidiary of Natixis, the corporate investment management and financial services arm of
Groupe BPCE, the second-largest French bank.
About Health for Life CapitalTM
In December 2013, Seventure launched Health for Life CapitalTM, the first venture capital investment vehicule focused on investment in the microbiome and nutrition space. Europe is the primary focus of the fund, but it will expand internationally if strategic opportunities arise. The €120m fund attracted strategic investments from prestigious organisations including Danone, Tereos, Tornier and Lesaffre, as well as financial institutions. Health for Life CapitalTM is managed by Seventure’s life sciences team.
About Eligo Bioscience
Eligo Bioscience was cofounded in May 2014 by Dr. Xavier Duportet (while being a PhD student between INRIA & MIT and now CEO at Eligo Bioscience), Dr. David Bikard (while being a post-doctorate at Rockefeller University and now CSO at Eligo Bioscience and Head of the Synthetic Biology Lab at Institut Pasteur), Pr. Timothy Lu (MIT) and Pr. Luciano Marraffini (Rockefeller University). The company had previously risen non-dilutive funding through various awards and competitions, notably the Worldwide Innovation Challenge.