Seed Health wants to use bacteria to stop premature births and curb plastic waste. We got a peek at the slides it used to raise $40 million.
A wave of young biotech companies are hoping to use bacteria to treat diseases and break new ground in the drug industry.
One startup, Seed Health, is making plans to compete in both the consumer-health and regulated-drug markets.
The company just raised a $40 million Series A round at a valuation of approximately $200 million, a person involved in the deal told Insider. Consumer venture fund The Craftory led the round and was joined by VCs like Founders Fund, 8VC, GISEV and Artis Ventures. Seed previously raised angel funds from celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Jessica Biel and Karlie Kloss.
There are more than a dozen venture-backed biotechs that are developing therapies that target the ecosystem of bacteria found in and on the human body — known as the microbiome — in the hopes of treating intestinal, renal and neurological disorders.
The data is promising, but so far, no microbiome treatment has gotten the seal of approval from the Food and Drug Administration. In the meantime, unregulated consumer products have entered the market touting benefits for the microbiome.
Seed wants to branch out into both medicines and supplements. The company already sells a probiotic supplement, and has been developing new products that will apply bacterial science to areas of human and environmental health.
Medications will be commercialized through subsidiaries. Seed’s first subsidiary, Luca Biologics, is exploring how good bacteria naturally found in a woman’s reproductive system can address urinary tract infections, infertility, preterm birth and other ailments.
There are plans to create consumer products for oral care, infant health, and biological materials, with assistance from experts in each field. Seed’s scientific advisory board includes biotech entrepreneur George Church and scientists who have led microbiome research and policy conversations at the World Health Organization, National Institutes of Health and several universities.
Whether it’s a consumer product or a drug, Seed wants to set a standard by thoroughly testing products. The biotech is currently running four clinical trials on its consumer probiotic, DS-01.
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