Landmark $1.9B-plus deal for Seres includes PhIII support

Nestlé Health Science CEO Greg Behar

Seres Therapeutics landed a $120 million upfront payment from Nestlé Health Science in exchange for a development and commercialization pact covering its candidates for Clostridium difficile infection and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. The pact has a total deal value ranging up to $1.9 billion-plus.

Nestlé is gaining ex-U.S./Canadian rights to a set of four programs: SER-109 and SER-262 for CDI, and SER-287 and SER-301 for IBD. Nestlé, which bought up a stake in Seres last year, is also committed to covering a third of the Phase III development costs for three of those drugs, including an upcoming late-stage study of SER-109 for recurrent CDI. And Nestlé is expected to hand over $30 million in milestones for clinical progress, which also covers a Phase Ib study for SER-262.

Shares of Seres ($MCRB) were up 4% in early trading Monday.

Seres, a 2014 Fierce 15 company, scored a "breakthrough therapy" tag at the FDA last year for SER-109, the lead program, which is designed to restore the health of a turbulent gut. Its focus on the microbiome helped win over investors to a successful $134 million IPO, ahead of the fallout that awaited the industry after Hillary Clinton started raising the prospect of controlling drug prices. 

"Seres is leading the development of microbiome therapies with the potential to address a wide range of diseases of high unmet medical need, and we are thrilled to collaborate together to ensure that GI-focused products reach the best outcome for patients," said Greg Behar, the CEO of Nestlé Health Science. "By correcting the fundamental microbiome dysbiosis that is the root cause of many diseases, Seres is creating a profoundly new and important way of treating many conditions that are inadequately managed through current approaches. In essence, Seres is leading the creation of an entirely new field within medicine."

- read the statement

Special Report: FierceBiotech's 2014 Fierce 15 - Seres Therapeutics