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Microbiome Health Company Raises $40M in Early Funds

Gut microbes illustration

Gut microbes illustration (NASA.gov)

21 Apr. 2021. A developer of therapies and health products addressing microbes inhabiting the human body is raising $40 million in its first venture funding round. Seed Health, a five year-old enterprise in Los Angeles, develops treatments for intestinal and other disorders affected by microbes in the human body, as well as consumer health and environmental products.

Seed Health is a multi-dimensional business taking a broad view of the microbiome. The company’s lead product, code-named DS-01, is a probiotic, with 24 different live gut microbe strains. The probiotic is currently in a mid-stage clinical trial at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston to determine its impact on intestinal cells as well as metabolic output of microbial communities in the gut in people with irritable bowel syndrome. DS-01 is also being tested in a clinical trial as a way to restore microbe balance and integrity in people being treated with antibiotics, which can disrupt microbial communities in the gut. In addition, DS-01 is sold over-the-counter as a consumer health product.

As reported by Science & Enterprise in August 2019, Seed Health formed Luca Biologics, a subsidiary company in Cambridge, Mass. to develop microbial therapies for women’s health. Luca Biologics is testing a biotherapeutic for urinary tract infections in an early-stage clinical trial, and has treatments for bacterial vaginosis and spontaneous pre-term birth in preclinical stages. In addition, Seed Health is studying therapies for high cholesterol and major depressive disorder, also in preclinical development.

Probiotics for honey bees and corals

Among its consumer health products, Seed Health is developing treatments for constipation, acne, skin aging, and oral health. And for its environmental products the company is investigating probiotics to improve honey bee communities, and plans to begin work later this year on probiotics to help ocean corals.

“Advances in research reveal the vast potential of microbes to transform how we live and care for ourselves, our children, and our environment,” says Seed Health co-founder and co-CEO Ara Katz in a company statement released through Cision. Co-founder and co-CEO Raja Dhir adds, “We are converging advances in sequencing technologies, metabolomics, and functional strain characterization to gain insight into microbial communities and develop interventions that are effective across a heterogeneous population or personalized.”

Seed Health is raising $40 million in its first venture funding round. The financing is led by Craftory, an investment house that says it backs consumer brands from cause-driven businesses, focusing on companies beyond the start-up stage. Taking part in the round are technology and life science investors ARTIS Ventures and GISEV, with existing investors Founders fund and 8VC.

Dhir notes, “These proceeds accelerate our multi-platform, multi-technology approach to efficiently take breakthrough research from discovery to market across ecosystems of the body at various life stages, developmental windows, and health conditions.”

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