Metagen Therapeutics, a company focusing on drug discovery and development based on intestinal microbiome-based therapeutics for various diseases, has completed its Series A funding in 2 rounds, raising a total of 1.7 billion yen. Sparx Asset Management, Nippon Venture Capital, Mizuho Capital and SMBC Venture Capital have joined the 1st round investors of JIC Venture Growth Investments, a type of sovereign wealth fund in Japan, JAFCO, Japan’s largest venture capital company, Fast Track Initiative and Keio Innovation Initiative.
With the closing of the 2nd round, Metagen Therapeutics has raised a total amount of 1.93 billion yen since its inception.
Purpose of Financing
There has been a growing movement to utilize intestinal bacteria in the medical field in recent years. In countries such as Australia and USA, “Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT)” has been implemented as a medical procedure, and in April 2023, U.S. FDA approved the world’s first stool-derived oral formulation for a microbiome drug.
With the latest financing, Metagen Therapeutics aims to achieve 3 goals: The construction and operation of an intestinal microbiota bank, research and development of Microbiota Drug Discovery Programs, and the social implementation of FMT.
By establishing an intestinal microbiota bank in Japan we will be able to connect patients and donors, which in turn will support and promote the social implementation of FMT, and from there help develop internationally competitive microbiome drugs that originates from Japan.
Use of Funds
1.Development and operation of the intestinal microbiota bank
・Development of registration system for intestinal microbiota donor candidates
・ Operation of intestinal microbiota bank (in accordance with institutional guidelines) – Donor recruitment/online interview, donor eligibility evaluation, intake of stool donations, manufacturing/assessment/storage of intestinal microbiota solution
・Establishing process regarding preparation and quality control for intestinal microbiota solution
2.Promotion of basic and clinical research for clinical application of FMT (such as joint research related to immune checkpoint inhibitors)
3.Research and development of intestinal microbiota drug discovery program (including probiotics)
June 15th marks the final close of our Series A funding round, raising a total of 1.7 billion yen. We are very grateful for the deep trust and support of our top-tier investors, including FTI, JAFCO, and KII, who have supported us since the Seed and Pre-A rounds, JIC-VGI, who participated in the Series A First Close in April, and SPARX, NVCC, Mizuho Capital, and SMBC Venture Capital, who joined us at this final close.
This funding will provide a powerful boost to expand the impact of microbiome medicine and drug discovery from Japan to the rest of the world, working to fulfill our mission of “Living up to the hopes of patients through microbiome science”. Intestinal microbiome therapy is entering a new phase globally, with the approval of stool-derived oral formulations in the United States. We are determined not to miss this trend and renew our strong determination to bring advanced treatments to patients in Japan as soon as possible.
Said Taku Nakahara, President and CEO, Metagen Therapeutics.