uBiome recently raised $83 million in Series C financing, with OS Fund leading the round, and participation from 8VC, Y Combinator, Dentsu Ventures, as well as additional new and existing investors.
“This is the next step in the evolution of uBiome. We started with a simple wellness product to help people understand their microbiomes, expanded to clinical laboratory testing in 2015, and are now poised for expansion,”
said Jessica Richman, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of uBiome.
“This financing allows us to expand our product portfolio, increase our focus on patent assets, and further raise our clinical profile, especially as we begin to focus on commercialization of drug discovery and development of our patent assets.”
uBiome combines its patented proprietary precision sequencing™ with machine learning and artificial intelligence to develop wellness products, clinical tests, and therapeutic targets. The Company has over 200 patent assets, including seven issued patents in the United States relating to sample collection, laboratory automation, computational approaches, and molecular techniques, as well as diagnostic signatures and therapeutic targets. It also has the largest human microbiome database, with over 250,000 samples (the largest in the world by 25x), projected to grow to more than one million samples in 2019.
Proceeds of the financing will be used to:
- Enhance and expand the Company’s product portfolio
- Leverage insights gained by building largest microbiome database to expand into drug research and development using pre-existing patent assets and industry research collaborations, not data sales
- Accelerate and expand commercialization of SmartGut, SmartJane, Explorer and other clinical tests under development, including companion diagnostics
- Begin commercialization of biopharma molecules and live biotherapeutics based on mining of existing IP
uBiome Appoints Pharmaceutical Veteran Joseph Jimenez to Board of Directors
In order to support the new drug discovery and development efforts, the company appointed Joseph Jimenez, the former CEO of Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, to its board of directors and opened its new therapeutics headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“Joe Jimenez brings an indisputable record of success in pharmaceutical drug discovery and development. He will further advance the success of uBiome’s mission to transform research into useful products based on the microbiome.”
said Dr Richman.
Mr. Jimenez brings to uBiome decades of leadership experience. At Novartis, Mr. Jimenez focused on leading global businesses, while divesting non-core divisions. Under his leadership, the innovation pipeline was rejuvenated, and the company navigated the patent expirations of their two largest products. Mr. Jimenez has a track record of business leadership at several world-class companies, including Clorox, ConAgra, and H.J. Heinz. In addition to the board of directors of uBiome, he presently serves on the boards of Proctor & Gamble and General Motors. Additionally, he served on the board of directors of the Colgate-Palmolive Company from 2009 to 2015, and of AstraZeneca PLC, from 2002 to 2007.
“The human microbiome contains a wealth of valuable information about our health, from predisposition to disease to potential therapeutic targets,”
said Mr. Jimenez.
“uBiome has built the world’s largest microbiome database and a strong patent portfolio, which offers a tremendous opportunity to apply these insights into the development of new therapeutics for a wide range of diseases. I am pleased to support the Company’s efforts in my new role as a board member.”