Diabetes-focused Microbiome Therapeutics raises $1.3M to test meds that alter gut bacteria

The microbiome and metabolic diseases like obesity and diabetes might be more closely linked than previously thought. As that research continues to advance, a company called Microbiome Therapeutics is hoping that, by altering certain bacteria in the gut, it will be able to help prediabetics  delay or prevent the progression of the condition into Type […]

The microbiome and metabolic diseases like obesity and diabetes might be more closely linked than previously thought.

As that research continues to advance, a company called Microbiome Therapeutics is hoping that, by altering certain bacteria in the gut, it will be able to help prediabetics  delay or prevent the progression of the condition into Type 2 diabetes.

Microbiome Therapeutics (formerly NuMe Health) is running two clinical trials of a microbiome modulator designed to enhance insulin sensitivity in patients with prediabetes, and lessen adverse GI effects in those who are taking the antidiabetic drug metformin.

To carry the company through those trials, its investors, including BVM Capital, have provided $1.3 million in bridge financing. Microbiome Therapeutics completed a $1.5 million Series A last year.

“These additional funds will enable us to complete our ongoing studies and prepare for our next set of clinical trials,” CEO Steve Orndorff said in a prepared statement. “We expect to report results from the current studies soon, prior to the launch of a significant Series B financing during 2014.”

The goal with NM504 is to build up specific good bacteria strains and discourage the growth of other strains in the GI tract in order to affect appetite, metabolism and energy storage. It does that using prebiotics and other naturally occurring ingredients, MBT says.

An estimated 79 million U.S. adults have prediabetes, which increases a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Dietary changes, increased physical activity and sometimes metformin are encouraged to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

Boulder, Colorado-based MBT was founded by Whole Food Chairman John Elstrott and life science entrepreneur Dale Pfost, now a partner at Advent Ventures.