San Diego-based biotech company
Additional investors include Apollo Health Ventures, as well as existing investor, Joyance Partners.
Company officials said the Series A proceeds 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.
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. The company says these therapeutics have the potential to provide patients with much needed therapeutic options for a broad spectrum of neurological and inflammatory diseases including epilepsy and ALS.
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 also 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.
Expanding the Landscape of Available Therapies
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,” Reyes added.
Dr. Juergen Eckhardt, who directs Leaps by Bayer, said his organization “aims to break through the impossible – creating curative innovations that have the potential to change life on earth for the better.”
“To protect brain and mind is one of the big goals Leaps by Bayer is trying to solve as part of our overall mission,” Dr. Eckhardt added. “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,” said Felix Von Coerper, managing partner of ALS Investment Fund. “We look forward to working with the Bloom Science team to advance their promising and novel approach.”
Bloom Science was founded by Dr. Reyes together with Elaine Hsiao, Raphael Valdvia and Tony Colasin.
A biophysicist and entrepreneur, Dr. Reyes has founded two companies focused on developing therapeutics to address serious medical needs as well as a tech company focused on connecting people and companies to socially conscious data solutions. His first company Eclipse Therapeutics, a City Hill-backed Biogen spinout focusing on cancer stem cell targeting therapeutics, resulted in a successful acquisition in 18 months.
CEO: Christopher Reyes, Ph.D.
Headquarters: San Diego
Notable: The company’s investigational drug pipeline has the potential to treat millions of patients with drug-resistant or non-addressed diseases.