Investment to Contribute to Harnessing of Microbiome Potential in the Gut-Brain Relationship
Tokyo, June 22, 2021 – Corundum Systems Biology Inc., dedicated to facilitate microbiome research and business creation since its establishment in Japan in April 2020, announces it had invested in Holobiome, Inc., a US pre-clinical stage life sciences company developing microbiome therapies. The investment made through the CSB-1 Fund and was injected in the startup’s seed stage financing. The transaction marks CBS-1 Fund’s first direct investment in a company.
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Holobiome focuses on developing “live biotherapeutics”, highlighting an emphasis on the mutual relationship between the gut and the brain. “Live biotherapeutics” are novel therapies in the form of naturally occurring human bacteria.
Launched in 2018 by three expert microbiologists to advance microbiome science beyond academia, Dr. Phillip Strandwitz, who invented the company’s key technology and is an award-winning specialist in the field of human microbiome, is CEO. His co-founders are his PhD advisor Dr. Kim Lewis, a University Distinguished Professor of Biology and Director of the Antimicrobial Discovery Center at Northeastern University (NEU), and fellow NEU Lewis Lab alumni Dr. Mike LaFleur. Dr. LaFleur is specialist in antimicrobial drug resistance and drug discovery.
Since its inception, Holobiome has built a platform to identify and rapidly develop bacteria which modulate key biological targets important for health. This mechanism-first platform is supported by the Holobiome Microbiome Atlas — a characterized strain collection consisting of nearly all known taxa of the human gut — a human gut simulator, and a world-class scientific advisory board, including Dr. Jack Gilbert, Dr. Elaine Hsiao, Dr. Diego Bohorquez, and Dr. George Church.
“The fast-paced unfolding of scientific potential in microbiome-based therapies based on Holobiome’s research in the human gut and brain relationship is both enlightening and exciting,” says Hidehiko Otake, CEO of Corundum Systems Biology. “We are honored to be associated as this startup’s newest investor and are considering additional support as needed to help broaden its cross-border opportunities for collaboration in research.”
“We are delighted to have the support of Corundum Systems Biology in growing Holobiome and advancing our programs,” says Dr. Philip Strandwitz, Holobiome CEO. “They share the vision that capturing, understanding, and manipulating the microbiome can transform our understanding of health and combat humanity’s most destructive diseases. Given their international network of leaders in computational biology, microbiome, and neuroscience, Corundum Systems Biology will be an invaluable partner as we grow Holobiome and build our armentarium of microbial therapies.”
The CSB investment will be allocated to support manufacturing of lead assets, advance preclinical work of discovery programs, and expand the Holobiome platform. Other Holobiome investors include Alexandria Venture Investments, iSelect, and an Angel syndicate. Holobiome has been further supported by two R&D partnerships with Johnson and Johnson, an Amgen Golden Ticket, and non-dilutive grant funding from National Institute of Health, the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH), the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and the Queensland Biomedical Voucher Program.”
Corundum Systems Biology positions microbiome as a critical field for unlocking next-generation life science technologies and better human health and quality of life. The company offers support in microbiome advancements globally through support in development of new business, development of biometric database and data analysis platforms, and grant-giving to facilitate and hasten R&D. (https://www.csb.co.jp/)
Public Relations, Corundum Systems Biology Inc. (03)5404-8590