San Diego based biotech company Bloom Science announced today it successfully closed a USD $12 Million Series A financing with a syndicate of life science investors led by Leaps by Bayer, the impact investment arm of Bayer AG, and the ALS Investment Fund. Additional investors include Apollo Health Ventures, as well as existing investor, Joyance Partners.
Bloom Science is developing innovative therapeutics for rare neurological diseases utilizing its novel drug discovery platform, IrisRx, that reverse translates clinical treatments to identify the compositional and functional microbiome building blocks. By focusing on the microbiome, the collection of trillions of bacteria that live in and on the human body, Bloom is pioneering microbiome-based therapies targeting the gut-immune-brain axis, an interconnected network comprised of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract, the host immune system, the central nervous system and the brain.
Bloom’s microbial drug candidates are rationally selected and engineered to target key underlying disease pathways disrupted by environmental, age-related and/or genetic factors. These therapeutics have the potential to provide patients with much needed therapeutic options for a broad spectrum of neurological and inflammatory diseases.
Bloom Science will use the Series A financing to advance its pipeline including lead program BL-001 being developed for orphan, drug-resistant epilepsies. The drug candidate consists of proprietary microbes necessary and sufficient to reproduce the clinical efficacy observed with the ketogenic diet, targeting neuronal hyperexcitation and changes in brain levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid that serves as the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter.
The Series A proceeds will further enable Bloom Science to accelerate the development of its therapeutic candidate for the treatment of ALS. The gut microbiome has been linked to severity of disease in ALS and represents a novel and promising potential target for treatment and disease modification. Bloom is also applying its IrisRx platform towards advancing discovery programs in neurodegeneration, dementia and inflammation.
“Bloom Science was born out of a vision to harness the gut-immune-brain axis and exponentially expand the landscape of available therapies for patients with severe or untreatable neurological and inflammatory conditions,” said Christopher Reyes, PhD, CEO and Founder of Bloom Science, “This investment by our preeminent global syndicate fuels the further development of Bloom’s pipeline and represents a significant opportunity to ally with like-minded investors who share our ambitious goals.”
“Leaps by Bayer aims to break through the impossible – creating curative innovations that have the potential to change life on earth for the better,” said Juergen Eckhardt, MD, Head of Leaps by Bayer. “To protect brain and mind is one of the big goals Leaps by Bayer is trying to solve as part of our overall mission. We believe Bloom Science’s unique approach to leverage the gut-immune-brain axis for novel microbiota therapies will enable us to achieve this mandate and therefore improve the lives of many patients.”
“We are excited to support Bloom Science in their mission to develop rationally selected microbiome-based therapies for diseases with high unmet need, including ALS. We look forward to working with the Bloom Science team to advance their promising and novel approach,” said Felix Von Coerper, managing partner of ALS Investment Fund.
The investment will enable Bloom to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for BL-001 in refractory epilepsy and advance into Phase I clinical trials, as well as further expand development of its platform and advance its research and talent acquisition.