Seres Health targets microbiome, gets $48M to push fecal transplant pill into Phase 3

Cambridge-based Seres Health, a contender in the haute field of microbiome therapeutics, just hauled in a $48 million Series C round. The startup’s developing biologics that target recurrent C. difficile infections – a real nuisance in the realm of hospital-acquired infections. The company plans to use the funding to advance its lead candidate, SER-109, into Phase 3 clinical trials. If approved, Seres’ […]

Cambridge-based Seres Health, a contender in the haute field of microbiome therapeutics, just hauled in a $48 million Series C round. The startup’s developing biologics that target recurrent C. difficile infections – a real nuisance in the realm of hospital-acquired infections.

The company plans to use the funding to advance its lead candidate, SER-109, into Phase 3 clinical trials. If approved, Seres’ therapeutic line – called Ecobiotic – will be the first oral microbiome-related therapeutic that receives the regulatory go-ahead.

The Ecobiotic system works by “augmenting the biology of the microbiome,” Seres said. In September it released results from its earlier SER-109 trial, in which 29 of the study’s 30 patients were completely cured of their C. dificile infections over the course of 8 weeks. The patients received oral doses of Seres’ microbiome “spores” – that is, precursors to “good” gut bacteria that mature into disease-fighting agents. They’ve been isolated from human fecal matter, then delivered in pill-form to the patient – a promising approach given the growing bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

In addition to treating clostridium-related disease, Seres’ pipeline pursues other as-yet-unnamed indications in the metabolic, inflammatory and infectious disease spaces.

Seres Health was launched in 2012 by Flagship Ventures. This past June, it teamed up with Mayo Clinic for an exclusive research partnership. At the time it also received a $10 million Series B, from investors that include Mayo itself and