Flagship Ventures' latest entry into the Antibiotics field, Seres Health, has raised $48 million — more than all its previous rounds combined — to bring it's potential drug intended to restore balance to the millions of bacteria in the gut to late-stage trials early next year.
The company didn't say who the investors are on the Series C round other than "leading, public healthcare investors." A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission associated with the investment says there were 20 investors involved in the round, but does not name them.
The 30-employee company says the money will fuel a Phase 3 trial of its lead drug, SER-109, intended to prevent the recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection, as well as help bring along several of its other so-called Ecobiotic drugs. In a previous interview in June, CEO Roger Pomerantz of the Kendall Square company said the company uses spores of bacteria from the colon which can balance to the microbiome, a potentially cleaner alternative to fecal microbiota transplantation. The drug is considered a biologic by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and while details of the trial have been formulated, the company is not saying how many patients it will involve.
In September, Seres presented early-stage trial results at a conference which showed the drug helped 29 out of 30 patients to remain infection-free for two months, which was the main goal of the Phase 1/2 trial held over the summer. Those results prompted Darrell Pardi, a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic and one of the study investigators, to say in a statement that the drug "may be a way to treat other gut infections, and could complement Antibiotics by restoring microbial diversity after Antibiotic therapy."