Seventure Partners’ microbiome-focused fund completes first closing, targets final close of over €200m
08 Mar 2019 --- European venture capital firm Seventure Partners has completed the first closing of its second dedicated fund focused on the microbiome and health, nutrition and digital/connected health sectors with a target for the final close of over €200 million. The Fund, Health for Life Capital II (HFL II), seeks to build on the success of its first fund, Health for Life Capital (HFL), which launched in 2014. This first fund attracted strategic investments from prestigious organizations including Danone, Novartis, Lesaffre, Tornier, Unigrains and Bel and placed Seventure as a “leader in its field by anticipating the microbiome revolution.”
The new fund has attracted cornerstone investors from this first fund, as well as new strategic industry partners including a US-based global food ingredient provider (to be disclosed), alongside financial institutional Limited Partners and entrepreneurial investors.
Building on its investment strategy coined “beyond the pill,” Seventure’s latest fund will keep its core focus on the microbiome. This includes drugs, nutritional solutions, diagnostics and biomarkers, as well as opportunistic investments in digital therapeutics, connected health, digital nutritional advice, personalized nutrition, precision medicine and food technologies.
“The microbiome offers very disruptive innovations and is a game changer of both the food and pharma industries,” Isabelle de Cremoux, CEO and Managing Partner of Seventure Partners, who led the fundraising, tells NutritionInsight. “It brings societal and medical benefits with the potential to treat diseases with unmet medical need and enormous financial return potential.”
A key aim of the fund is to secure finance in innovative equity companies in the life sciences fields. This includes food tech, nutrition, digital health and nutrition, diagnostics and therapeutics with a core focus on the microbiome.
“We are proud to be trusted by prestigious industry champions such as Danone, Novartis, our new US global food ingredient provider, Lesaffre, Bel, Unigrains, etc. In addition, the close cooperation we have established will boost the financial performances of the fund. Our industry partners display a strong, innovative oriented strategy. They are world leaders and pioneers in supporting innovative food and health concepts,” says de Cremoux.
How the microbiome can revolutionize health
The microbiome has the potential to revolutionize medicine in many ways, such as helping to understand some chronic diseases that are still not yet understood. It can also aid understanding in why some patients are responders or not to the same drug, bring stratification and companion diagnostics to segment diseases and better treat them, as well as modulate the microbiome of non-respondents so that they become responders, notes de Cremoux.
The significant interest in the new fund is a testament to the exceptional experience the Seventure team has within the exciting field of the microbiome, explains de Cremoux. This includes the exponential growth in understanding of the interplay of the microbiome as well as nutrition and food on health, both for treating and preventing diseases and also maintaining people healthy at all ages from newborns to elderly.
“Research and investment in the microbiome was at its infancy when we launched our first fund in 2014. Fast-forward to 2019 and, alongside digital health, precision medicine and personalized nutrition, the microbiome has exploded and is one of the hottest areas for healthcare and nutrition investment,” she adds.
Meaningful outcomes from the HFL are already in the pipeline, de Cremoux says. For example, Enterome with small molecule in Crohn's disease, MAAT pharma in Graft versus host disease (GVHD) with its FMT product, Targedys in anorexia with its gut-brain microbiome modulator, Vedanta with its live bioproducts, LNC with its Christensenella microbiome modulator, Anaeropharma working in cancer and Siolta in allergic asthma. Results from these clinical trials are expected in 2019.
“HFL has already been approached by numerous pharma, diagnostics and food ingredient companies as well as financial investors. As we work towards our imminent final close of Health for Life Capital II, we welcome discussions with investors with a like-minded passion for funding innovation at the intersection of microbiome, health, nutrition and digital health sectors,” she concludes.
The potential of the microbiome for health solutions has proliferated in recent times. Earlier this year, The Master Project, which aims to harness microbiome knowledge and DNA sequencing to boost food chain sustainability, received EU funding of nearly €11 million.
The “ambitious” research project will be achieved over four years through the involvement of 31 leading European and international academic and industry teams. The project is part of the Horizon 2020 program, which is the biggest EU Research and Innovation program ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years.
In related news, OptiBiotix has also noted the rising role of prebiotics and probiotics in the food, nutraceuticals and pharmaceutical industries in 2019. The boundless opportunities of the microbiome and the power of prebiotics and probiotics have given rise to intense focus from researchers, investors and companies working in both the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical space. However, what is becoming clear is the importance that claims stay rooted in science and not consumer hype, says Stephen O’Hara, OptiBiotix CEO.
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