Vedanta Biosciences, a leading clinical-stage company developing a new category of therapies for immune-mediated diseases based on rationally defined consortia of human microbiome-derived bacteria, today announced that Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) has made a $25 million investment in Vedanta, as part of the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative.
Vedanta intends to use the proceeds to fund a Phase 2 study of VE202 in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which it plans to initiate in 2021. Topline Phase 1 study data showed VE202 was generally safe and well-tolerated at all doses and demonstrated durable and dose-dependent colonization.
“We thank Pfizer for its investment in Vedanta and support of our IBD program and look forward to advancing microbiome modulation as a potential new treatment modality for IBD patients,”
said Bernat Olle, Ph.D., Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vedanta Biosciences.
“Inflammatory bowel disease has a daily, chronic impact on as many as 1.6 million Americans, and with cases on the rise in the U.S., patients urgently need new therapeutic options,”
said Michael Vincent, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Inflammation & Immunology Research Unit at Pfizer.
“We believe Vedanta’s approach to modulating the microbiome may hold promise for people living with IBD, and we are excited for its potential as this important study moves forward.”
As part of the investment, Dr. Vincent will join Vedanta’s Scientific Advisory Board. Vedanta will retain control of all its programs and has granted Pfizer a right of first negotiation on VE202.
VE202 is a first-in-class orally administered investigational live biotherapeutic product (LBP) consisting of a defined bacterial consortium. It is produced under GMP conditions from pure, clonal bacterial cell banks, which yield a standardized drug product in powdered form and bypasses the need to rely on direct sourcing of fecal donor material of inconsistent composition. VE202 was designed to induce immune tolerance via the gut and thereby potentially treat inflammatory bowel disease. Results describing the biology and candidate selection of VE202 were previously published in Science and Nature (multiple).