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Finch Therapeutics bags $53m for microbiome therapies

In race to be first-to-market in C diff

Finch Therapeutics

Finch Therapeutics has completed a Series C financing, raising $53m to advance its microbiome therapies pipeline. 

The Massachusetts-based biotech company is a specialist in using bacterial cultures to restore the natural balance of the bacterial colonies that populate our bodies – the microbiome – which can become disrupted by disease or drug therapies.

Finch’s pipeline includes CP101, an oral capsule that contains a diverse community of microbiota to restore a balanced microbiome. It is currently being studied in Finch’s PRISM3 phase 3 clinical trial for the prevention of recurrent C. difficile infections, with the company currently enrolling participants.The money the biotech has raised will potentially take the study through to produce pivotal results.

Earlier this year, Finch gained a breakthrough therapy designation (BTD) from the FDA  for CP101. This means  the biotech is in close contact with the FDA and could help the drug  reach the market ahead of rival microbiota products, a goal which the new funds will help achieve.

Finch will also use the financing to accelerate the development of a therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The biotech is currently enrolling a phase 2 study evaluating the safety and efficacy of its therapy in adults with ASD. People with ASD experience behavioural symptoms which are often accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms. Prior studies have suggested the link between the two is a disrupted microbiome.

The company isn't the only one to be pursuing microbiome products.  in 2017 rival Rebiotix presented early data showing that its microbiota suspension RBX2660 prevents recurrences of C. Difficile infections. It is currently enrolling patients in its PUNCH CD 3 phase 3  study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the C. Diff candidate.

Like Finch, Rebiotix received a BTD from the FDA, and both companies have products in  phase 3 clinical trials, which could make the race to market very close.

The microbiome field is attracting increasing interest from the pharma industry, with several recent big pharma investments. In March, AstraZeneca paid US biotech Seres Therapeutics $20m in instalments over the next two years, with reimbursements, to explore how the bacteria in the gut can affect and enhance cancer immunotherapies.

Last June, Roche’s biotech division Genentech signed a $534m deal with UK biotech Microbiotica, to access its precision metagenomics microbiome platform to analyse patient samples from clinical trials of its investigational IBD medicines.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

23rd August 2019

From: Research

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