Kaleido brings in $101M in series C for its microbiome-wide therapy pipeline

Kaleido Biosciences has raked in $101 million in series C financing, after coming out of stealth last September with $65 million, with the goal of developing novel chemistries that direct the human microbiome and its various bacteria as a whole.

The Bedford, Massachusetts-based company plans to use the proceeds to expand its discovery platform and advance the multiple clinical studies in its pipeline, aiming to launch its 20th clinical study by early 2019.

New investors joining the oversubscribed funding round included Fidelity Management and Research Company, Invus, Rock Springs Capital and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Kaleido’s founder, Flagship Pioneering, also participated. Kaleido is Flagship’s fourth microbiome-focused company, following Seres Therapeutics, Evelo Therapeutics and Epiva Therapeutics, with the latter two merging in 2016.

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While previous gut bacteria-targeting strategies have focused on adding or subtracting certain microbes from the mix, Kaleido is looking to treat and shape the microbiome as a single human organ, which metabolizes nutrients and interacts with other parts of the body through biochemical signals. The company hopes to manage the microbiome’s total metabolic output to treat diseases across multiple areas, including rare genetic disorders.

Kaleido’s discovery platform performs automated, high-throughput screening of the company’s libraries of novel molecules against human ex vivo microbiomes, allowing early testing of both healthy and patient volunteers. In October, Kaleido signed an agreement with the genomics platform company CoreBiome to provide high-scale microbiome sequencing on tens of thousands of microbiome samples, combining physiological data, metabolomics and screening assays.

Since its founding in 2015, the quiet biotech has conducted at least 10 pre-IND studies, including safety and tolerability studies in human subjects. The most advanced products in Kaleido’s pipeline include treatments for high levels of ammonia in the blood linked to urea cycle disorders or hepatic encephalopathy. Other disease targets include drug-resistant bacterial infections, renal disease, diarrhea, cardiovascular disease, immuno-oncology and diabetes.

“We are pleased to have support from our new and existing investors who share Kaleido’s excitement in leveraging the therapeutic potential of the microbiome and the promise of accelerating the discovery and development of products for patients,” said Michael Bonney, who was named CEO and chair of Kaleido in September after it came out of hiding.

“With our differentiated approach, we have an opportunity to lead a revolution in health and deliver novel treatments for a range of diseases and conditions,” said Bonney, who previously served as CEO of antibiotic developer Cubist Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Merck in 2015 for $9.5 billion.

Kaleido has also seen a bit of a hiring spree over the past several months, bringing on Aura Biosciences’ Alison Lawton as president and chief operating officer, as well as Versartis’ Joshua Brumm as chief financial officer. The company also hired CRISPR Therapeutics’ Stephen Sofen, Ph.D., to lead technical operations, and Tokai Pharmaceuticals’ Susan Stewart, J.D., as senior VP of regulatory affairs and quality.