MaaT Pharma lands €10M to take autologous fecal microbiota transplant into PhI

MaaT Pharma has landed €10 million ($11 million) to support the advance of its autologous fecal microbiota transplant into Phase I. The Series A round, which was co-led by Seventure Partners, has set MaaT up to start trials of its product to correct the microbial imbalance that can result from the treatment of diseases including leukaemia and joint infections.

Isabelle de Cremoux

Lyon, France-based MaaT is planning to enter the clinic in the coming months. The trial will mark an early test of MaaT's autologous approach to the microbiome, which has advanced quickly since the firm set out late in 2014 to commercialize research from France's national research institute INRA with financial support from Seventure Partners. MaaT plans to take and preserve fecal samples from patients prior to their treatment with drugs that can disrupt the microbiome. Following the treatment, MaaT will try to correct the disruption by re-seeding each patient with their own sample.

MaaT is initially pursuing the concept as a way to correct microbiome imbalances brought about by the treatment of leukemia and joint prosthesis infection, but some of the organizations bankrolling its advance see the potential to branch out into multiple other indications. "If MaaT Pharma's initial studies are successful, this will open possibilities for many more products, in indications ranging from inflammation to cancer," Seventure Partners CEO Isabelle de Crémoux said in a statement. The method is theoretically applicable to the correction of any predictable disruption of the microbiome.

The belief that MaaT can expand and scale its autologous approach is underpinned by confidence in its process for collecting and preserving samples. While the raw material behind the approach, fecal matter, is available to anyone, MaaT thinks it can differentiate itself through its process, for which it is developing a device to collect and store samples. Karine Lignel, deputy CEO of CM-CIC Innovation, which teamed with Seventure Partners to lead the round, described the process as "industrial, quantifiable and reproducible," words that aren't always associated with autologous approaches.

- read the statement (PDF)