New funding for next-generation fecal transplant company

Next-gen fecal transplant company Rebiotix seems to be in the midst of a rather hefty funding round. The Minnesota-based startup filed equity-raising paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to the tune of $25 million. According to the filing, Rebiotix has raised $18 million thus far. Rebiotix was founded in 2011, and raised about $5 million then from angel investors. […]

Next-gen fecal transplant company Rebiotix seems to be in the midst of a rather hefty funding round.

The Minnesota-based startup filed equity-raising paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to the tune of $25 million. According to the filing, Rebiotix has raised $18 million thus far.

Rebiotix was founded in 2011, and raised about $5 million then from angel investors. The company’s lead therapy candidate, RBX2660, was given Food and Drug Administration Fast Track status about a year ago. It is currently working with the FDA to design a Phase 3 clinical program for the drug.

Development in fecal transplantation – which helps populate a weakened gastrointestinal system with a new host of microbes – has been growing lately given the, ahem, explosive interest in the human microbiome.

Rebiotix is focusing on developing a treatment for the Clostridium difficile bacteria that’s responsible for some 14,000 deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The infection also can cause fever, nausea and inflammation of the colon – and is one of the most common hospital-acquired infections in the U.S. It’s usually associated with heavy antibiotic use during hospital stays.

RBX2660 is the first in a new category of biologic drugs, Rebiotix says on its site, that contains live human-derived microbes. While the drug is patterned after fecal transplant therapy, which has been demonstrated 90 percent effective in treating C. diff-associated diarrhea, the company posits that RBX2660 has been designed to incorporate several advantages over the traditional fecal transplant methods.

Traditionally, fecal transplants have involved literally transplanting fresh human feces into a patient’s GI system. Rebiotix has cleaned things up a bit, and streamlined the microbes so they’re delivered in the form of a biologic drug – not a smear of waste.

A spokesman for Rebiotix wouldn’t comment on this latest round, saying it is planning an announcement connected to the funding in a couple weeks.