Seres bags another $10M to gut it out in microbiomics

Biotech Seres Health has raised a quick $10 million B round to support its work in microbiome R&D, appending a partnership with the Mayo Clinic as it advances an infectious disease treatment.

The latest round tapped previous backers Flagship Ventures and Enso Ventures alongside new investors at Mayo and Alexandria Venture Investments, coming just 7 months after Seres came out of stealth with a $10.5 million Series A.

With the cash, Seres plans to invest in its pipeline of therapies that tap the power of the microbiome, an ecosystem made up of more than 100 trillion microorganisms living in the body, that, thanks to the explosive growth of genomics, has fueled a fast-expanding new field of drug development as scientists begin to chart just how it affects human health.

Seres is developing a spate of what it calls Ecobiotic therapeutics, so named because they take an ecological approach to the innerspace of the gut, working on the whole ecosystem to restore health, the company said. Leading the pipeline is SER-109, in clinical trials to treat recurrent C. difficile, and Seres has early-stage programs in metabolic and inflammatory diseases.

Beyond its in-house work, the latest funding will also support a collaboration with Mayo's experts, through which the two will first research which diseases could benefit from a microbiomic approach and then get cracking on the discovery and development of therapeutics, Seres CEO Roger Pomerantz said.

"By combining Mayo Clinic's leading clinical and research experience with Seres' insights into the microbiome, we can increase the discovery and development of our unique microbiome-targeted products," Pomerantz said in a statement. "We are extremely pleased to be working with Mayo Clinic and look forward to pursuing our goals to bring therapies to patients for microbiome-driven diseases, for which current therapeutic paradigms have fallen short."

Pomerantz served as the head of Merck's ($MRK) infectious disease unit before Flagship lured him over to Seres.

- read the statement