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MicroSintesis gains $16.4m in funding for microbiome pipeline

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Investment in company's microbiome platform will propel global launch of breakthrough products for livestock, companion animal and human health.

Canadian life science company MicroSintesis recently announced the closure of a $16.4 million minority investment from Northern Private Capital (NPC), an investment vehicle of CFFI Ventures controlled by businessman John Risley.

MicroSintesis is focused on developing proprietary microbiome therapies. The funding will be used to scale up production of the company's products and build out its research capabilities and platform to deliver a new generation of microbiome products dedicated to improving livestock, companion animal and human health.

Working with metabolites produced by probiotics, MicroSintesis has identified a unique set of signal molecules that are part of the microbiome's own communication system and responsible for regulating its bacteria population, the company explained. Using patented formulations of these molecules, it has been able to shift bacterial populations in the gut from unhealthy to healthy to deliver a new generation of health products for the future, MicroSintesis said in its announcement.

"We are delighted to be partnering with NPC and [Risley]," MicroSintesis chief executive officer Hannah McIver said at the Vet Health Global meeting in Prince Edward Island, where the funding was announced. "With the cost of fighting antibiotic resistance now reaching into the billions, we rapidly need a proven solution directed at preserving antibiotics for the future. By partnering with NPC, ... we now have the funding and the support to grow our company into a global business. Our current technology is just the beginning of what we believe will be a new era of microbiome products and one where MicroSintesis wants to be a leader."

MicroSintesis has amassed a library of more than 50 probiotic strains that produce specific metabolites known as postbiotics. These metabolites have been tested against 14 types of pathogens known to cause illness in animals and people, according to an announcement from the Prince Edward Island BioAlliance.

“As we understand more about the metabolites produced by the microbiome, we see the potential for the development of a new wave of clinically effective health products to treat or prevent big diseases,” McIver said. “These products will likely range all the way from supplements through to a new class of microbiome drugs. The more our understanding of the role of the microbiome in health matures, the more potential we’ll unlock.”

In 2018, MicroSintesis launched commercial products for both the companion animal and livestock markets in Canada. Its Nuvio brand for pigs and chickens is sold in six provinces across the country. To date, Microsintesis said its products have been used in more than 2 million animals.

"We are very excited to partner with Hannah and her team as they deliver products that reduce the use of antibiotics and become leaders in the production of postbiotics for animal and human health," NPC CEO Andrew Lapham said. "This is a very large, global market, and we believe MicroSintesis has a technology platform capable of delivering multiple products in the coming years to capitalize on this significant and sizeable opportunity first in the area of animal health and, soon to follow, in human health."

Underpinning the company’s technology is the biomanufacturing system, developed by working with BIOFOODTECH, to create a safe and cost-effective way for MicroSintesis to deliver these products to animals and, eventually, to people.

“MicroSintesis reinforces the importance and uniqueness of animal health research and products arising from [Prince Edward Island’s] bioscience cluster,” Rory Francis, executive director of the Prince Edward Island BioAlliance, said.

McIver noted that in "the next 24 months, our team will work to expand our existing products for Canada out to global markets, continue to research how to apply our technology beyond gut health to reduce industry reliance on antibiotics and establish a scaled-up production facility to identify and manufacture MicroSintesis postbiotic metabolites.”

MicroSintesis, based in Charlottetown, P.E.I., is a new life sciences company and one of the only dedicated post-biotic companies focused on researching and understanding the microbiome communication system. The company has harnessed metabolites produced by probiotics to stand at the forefront of new biotechnologies that fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria, reduce antibiotic use and support the health, wellness and welfare of animals and humans.

Based in Toronto, Ont., NPC focuses on full- and partial-control equity investments in North America and the U.K. and invests in growth companies with great management and proven, proprietary technology across a range of industries.

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