Enterome raises €5m series A funding
28 March 2012
Paris, France. Enterome, a stratified medicine company
developing biomarkers for chronic and challenging medical conditions
relating to abnormalities of bacterial composition of the human
intestine (metabolic and bowel diseases), has announced a first closing
of a series A funding round, raising €5m.
This funding follows a previous seed round that raised €1.5
million from Seventure Partners (Natixis) and INRA Transfert.
The series A round has brought in Seventure and Lundbeckfond
Ventures, as new co-lead investors. Seventure is one of the most
active European investors in venture capital investing in life
sciences and ICT. Lundbeckfond Ventures is a pure life science
venture fund investing in companies in Europe and the US.
The amount raised will enable Enterome to fulfil several
objectives. Firstly, Enterome will validate its proprietary
biomarkers and translate them into high value medical diagnostics
and to commercialize it as laboratory developed test services in the
US and EU. The company also plans to initiate industrial
partnerships (in the pharmaceutical and the nutrition fields) to
strengthen its development capabilities. Enterome’s two lead
projects are in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and in
inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).
The new management team is highly experienced and made up of a
blend of former founders and executives of Fovea Pharmaceuticals
(acquired by Sanofi in 2009) and biomarkers specialists. Bernard
Gilly was also appointed as the new chairman of the board.
“The series A round investors — Seventure and Lundbeckfond
Ventures — were specifically attracted to Enterome due to the unique
nature of its technology, the close relationship to INRA and the
opportunity to create unique biomarker diagnostic products meeting
unmet medical and market needs,” said Pierre Belichard, CEO,
“Research by Enterome’s scientific founders has improved
understanding of the human microbiota composition to the point of
now allowing development of powerful new biomarkers and associated
therapeutics. This technology was elected as one of top five
scientific breakthroughs of 2011 by the journal Science.”
The human intestine harbours an incredible number of bacteria,
the gut microbiota, encoding 150-fold more genes than the human
genome. Each individual has his own personal and unique microbiota,
with a large diversity between individuals. Over the last five
years, physicians and researchers have proved the undisputed role of
gut microbiota in the development of various diseases, especially
metabolic disorders and inflammatory bowel diseases. These diseases
affect 25 per cent of the western world population, with NASH, the
most harmful, diagnosed in two to three per cent of the population
Enterome’s technology was developed initially at the INRA (Institut
National de la Recherche Agronomique) by Dusko Ehrlich at Jouy-en-Josas,
France. Enterome has entered into a collaboration agreement with
INRA, providing the company with exclusive access to discoveries
made using this metagenomic platform in selected human pathologies
including type II diabetes, liver and bowel diseases.
“Measurement and modulation of the gut microbiota’s role in
health and disease presents the opportunity to impact medicine in an
entirely new and unexplored way,” said Dusko Ehrlich, scientific
founder of Enterome and leader of the metaHIT European consortium
(the International Human Microbiome Congress, has been organized by
MetaHIT in Paris, March 19-21, 2012 http://www.metahit.eu).
“We are particularly pleased to see one of our main research
assets being translated into a company and financed by an
international group of investors,” said Gérard Jacquin, president of
INRA Technology Transfer organization. “Enterome is a key element in
our Metagenopolis organization, a center for excellence in
metagenomics of the human gut microbiota developed at INRA.”
“I am particularly proud to see Enterome developing, helped by
the strong and longstanding relationship Seventure has established
with INRA,” said Isabelle de Cremoux, CEO of Seventure subsidiary of
“We are impressed by the Enterome leadership and are very
confident that Enterome will translate this very innovative platform
into valuable diagnostic and therapeutic tools,” said Johan Kordel
from Lundbeckfond Ventures.
Emmanuelle Porte and Sylvie Hamel, specializing in venture
capital and private equity at Nixon Peabody, acted as legal advisors
for Enterome in this series A funding round.