Nextbiotix is developing microbiome-based therapies using single microbial strains that interact with human cells in the gut. Acting more effectively on immunomodulatory pathways, they are intended to significantly improve the lives of patients suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases.
When it comes to having access to safer drugs, patients’ and physicians’ expectations are especially high. There are no cures for these life-long diseases, and existing treatments systematically target the patients’ immune systems, with only limited success. For example, most Crohn’s disease patients experience repetitive flares, inflicting irreparable damage on their intestines. As a consequence, 70% of these patients may have to undergo serious surgery at least once in their lifetime.
Inflammatory bowel diseases are a significant burden to society, affecting approximately 1.5 million Americans, 2.2 million Europeans, and several hundreds of thousands more worldwide. Gut microbiome imbalances are known to play a major role in these diseases, yet, they are still left unaddressed.
It is Nextbiotix’s ambition to bring gut microbiota back into the therapeutic equation using a bacterium called Faecalibacterium prausnitzii.
Nextbiotix was founded by the pioneer team that led the discoveries of this naturally-occurring bacteria, which has been shown to be predictive of good health in the human gut microbiota.
Internationally-renowned researchers, Prof. Harry Sokol (Professor of Gastro-enterology at AP-HP/Sorbonne University), Dr. Philippe Langella (microbiologist and Research Director at INRA Jouy-en-Josas) and Prof. Patrick Gervais (Professor emeritus of Process Engineering at University of Burgundy/AgroSup Dijon), combined their complementary areas of expertise for over ten years to make a Faecalibacterium prausnitzii-based therapeutic approach possible. This is just another example of France being at the cutting edge of the microbiome field.
The Series A round was led by Auriga Partners, alongside with Sofimac Innovation, Cap Innov’Est, INRA, and Biocodex, an independent multinational pharmaceutical company, specifically focused on the gastro-enterology and microbiota fields.
Robust science, promising therapeutic and economic potential, as well as close-knit relationships with its home academic institutes made this significant first round of financing achievable.
Laurence Bougneres-Vermont from Auriga Partners, Jean-Briac Lesne from Sofimac Innovation, Jean-François Rax from Cap Innov’Est, Réjane Le Tinevez from INRA and Jean-Marie Lefevre from Biocodex commented: “We are very happy and proud to participate in this new venture in the microbiota realm, alongside recognized and esteemed Founder Experts. This innovative and promising therapeutic approach potentially offers new perspectives to patients and contributes to the fulfilment of unmet medical needs.”
« I am particularly proud to see Nextbiotix coming out of the ground of the longstanding relationship we have established with Auriga Partners over the last year and a half. The support of our incubators Paris Biotech Santé and Wilco was also pivotal in this success. Together we have managed to assemble a very robust and complementary team of investors bringing a wide range of expertise to the table. We are delighted to have raised a first round of financing significant enough to support our efforts in bringing a revolutionary new class of medicines, called Live Biotherapeutics, to patients », said Benjamin Hadida, CEO of Nextbiotix.
Based in Dijon, with offices in Paris (France), NEXTBIOTIX is a biopharmaceutical company developing Live Biotherapeutics using commensal bacteria as drugs to treat major inflammatory bowel diseases. The Company was founded in December 2016 by renowned scientists Professor Harry Sokol, Dr. Philippe Langella and Prof. Patrick Gervais, alongside with healthtech entrepreneur Michael Chekroun and Benjamin Hadida, current CEO of the company.
For further information, please visit: www.nextbiotix.com
About AURIGA PARTNERS
Auriga Partners is an independent venture firm dedicated to equity investment in high technology projects in Digital and Life Sciences sectors, from the early development stage to the international commercial expansion phase. AURIGA IV Bioseeds is a €42.3M seed investment fund managed by AURIGA Partners and supported notably by the Banque Publique d’Investissement and the European Investment Fund. The Fund is focused on supporting technological companies in Microbiology and Infectiology sectors.
For further information, please visit: www.auriga.vc
INRA is the largest agricultural research institute in Europe, with 8,417 researchers, engineers, and technicians, and is the second largest producer of agricultural science publications. INRA contributes to development of knowledge and innovation in the fields of food, agriculture, and the environment. INRA carries out its work across 13 scientific divisions through a research network that is unique in Europe, with more than 200 research units and 50 experimental units located in 17 research centres throughout France. Its aim is to contribute internationally to the development of healthy, high-quality food, competitive and sustainable agriculture, and a protected and valued environment.
BIOCODEX is an independent, multinational pharmaceutical company with a presence in more than 100 countries, specializing in gastroenterology, pain management, and central nervous system. BIOCODEX is actively involved in various microbiota fields.
For further information, please visit: www.biocodex.com
About SOFIMAC INNOVATION
Sofimac Innovation is an independent management company certified by the financial markets regulator (AMF) and dedicated to technological and innovative investment. We are present in Paris, Lyon, Rennes and Aix-en-Provence, as close as possible to the major innovation centers in France. We support innovative start-ups in their growth projects with a wide range of investment vehicles. Working in a wide variety of technological sectors, particularly in the health and digital sectors, our team comprises 10 experienced investor-entrepreneurs specialized in their field. Sofimac Innovation currently manages 8 funds comprising around 80 active companies.
Sofimac Innovation is part, along with Sofimac Régions, of the Sofimac Investment Managers group, which has been investing in innovation and growth capital for nearly 40 years.
For further information, please visit: http://www.sofimacpartners.fr
About CAP INNOV’EST
Cap Innov’Est is a €45m french regional seed fund (Grand Est, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) dedicated to investing in young, innovative startups. Cap Innov’Est was launched in July 2014 and has already invested in 20 startups. Cap Innov’Est is managed by Capital Grand Est with its partner, Invest PME (Siparex group). Cap Innov’Est is supported by Fonds National d’Amorçage (National Seed Fund), Regions Grand Est and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, SAFIDI, Caisse d’Epargne d’Alsace and Bourgogne/Franche-Comté, BNP Paribas and CIFC.
For further information, please visit: www.capitalgrandest.eu