Novome Biotechnologies Raises $33 Million Series A Financing
January 07, 2020
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Novome Biotechnologies, Inc., a biotechnology company engineering first-in-class, living medicines for chronic diseases, announced that it has secured $33 million in a Series A financing and has appointed Blake Wise as Chief Executive Officer. The financing was led by DCVC Bio with participation from seed investor 5AM Ventures, Alta Partners, Alexandria Venture Investments and Mayo Clinic. The proceeds of the financing will be used to advance the Company’s lead hyperoxaluria program through Phase 1 clinical proof-of-concept work, as well as to expand its Genetically Engineered Microbial Medicines (GEMMs) platform to address additional indications.
Novome is focused on treating chronic diseases with the first platform for controlled and robust colonization of the human gut with engineered therapeutic bacteria. The Company’s lead preclinical program in hyperoxaluria is focused on the development of a live biotherapeutic product that degrades oxalate to prevent the formation of kidney stones. Additional programs are being pursued in a range of indications that leverage the Company’s proprietary synthetic biology platform.
In addition, the Company announced the appointment of Blake Wise as CEO. Mr. Wise was previously Chief Executive Officer of Achaogen, a biopharmaceutical company developing antibacterials for serious multi-drug resistant infections. During Mr. Wise’s four years at Achaogen, where he held the position of President and Chief Operating Officer prior to being appointed CEO, he oversaw the development and FDA approval of ZEMDRI (plazomicin) for adults with complicated urinary tract infections. Prior to Achaogen, Mr. Wise spent 13 years at Genentech, in multiple leadership positions of increasing responsibility, including Vice President in Genentech’s BioOncology business unit.
“We are thrilled to have Blake join the team, and that we’ve raised additional resources to advance our lead program in hyperoxaluria. We believe that our platform has the potential to address many serious chronic diseases that are linked to the gut,” said Will DeLoache, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Novome. “Blake brings a significant amount of expertise to the Novome team, particularly with his proven operational experience and highly effective leadership style in his roles at Achaogen and Genentech.”
“I am honored to be joining a team of incredibly motivated and talented individuals who have made a great deal of progress with seed funding from 5AM Ventures and the National Science Foundation. Novome’s GEMMs platform establishes a new class of living medicines that allows precise activities to be introduced to the gut in a controllable manner,” said Mr. Wise. “I welcome our new investors to the company who, along with 5AM Ventures, share our commitment to advancing our platform and developing first-in-class engineered therapeutic gut microbes.”
In conjunction with the financing, the Company has expanded its Board of Directors to include Kiersten Stead, Managing Partner at DCVC Bio, and Dan Janney, Managing Partner at Alta Partners. Additional board members include Andrew Schwab, Managing Partner at 5AM Ventures, Will DeLoache and Blake Wise.
Novome was founded in 2016 by scientists from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, based on research performed in the laboratory of Scientific CoFounder Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, Associate Professor, Stanford University. The founding team, Drs. Will DeLoache, Weston Whitaker, Zachary Russ, and Liz Shepherd, combines deep expertise in synthetic biology and the study of the gut microbiota. Their work has led to numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications, as well as the filing of a portfolio of patents, both developed at Novome and licensed exclusively from Stanford.
Hyperoxaluria is a metabolic disorder characterized by elevated levels of oxalate in the urine and is a leading cause of recurrent kidney stones. Due to the acute and debilitating pain caused by kidney stones, patients with recurrent stones experience significant morbidity and frequently require urgent care. Recurrent kidney stones also put patients at significantly higher risk for developing chronic kidney disease and ultimately renal failure.
About Genetically Engineered Microbial Medicines
Genetically Engineered Microbial Medicines (GEMMs) are proprietary bacterial strains designed to colonize the gut at a controllable abundance and express therapeutic transgenes at clinically meaningful levels. Colonization is maintained using a daily dose of prebiotic polysaccharide that GEMMs are engineered to depend upon for their survival.
Novome Biotechnologies, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on engineering defined activities into the human gut microbiota to treat chronic diseases. The Company has developed the first-ever platform for controlled colonization of the gut with engineered bacteria, enabling first-in-class living therapeutics: Genetically Engineered Microbial Medicines (GEMMs). Novome is utilizing its proprietary GEMMs platform in its lead preclinical program in hyperoxaluria, which is focused on the development of a therapeutic strain of bacteria that degrades oxalate to prevent the formation of kidney stones. Efforts are also directed to the expansion of its proprietary synthetic biology platform into additional indications.