Second Genome Announces Agreement with Janssen on Microbiome Drug Discovery in
The role of gut bacteria in ulcerative colitis to be the focus of
pharmaceutical collaboration in microbiome R&D
In a separate announcement, Second Genome completes third tranche of $11.5
Million Series A financing and expands board of directors and scientific
SAN BRUNO, Calif., June 5, 2013
SAN BRUNO, Calif., June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Second Genome, Inc. announced
today that the company has entered into an agreement with Janssen Biotech,
Inc. (Janssen) focused on microbiome drug discovery. With the goal of
advancing novel drug targets, the agreement is focused on therapeutic
mechanisms in ulcerative colitis mediated by the bacterial ecosystem living
within the human gut, referred to as the microbiome. Second Genome will apply
its microbiome modulation discovery platform to characterize the role of
bacterial populations in ulcerative colitis.
"Foundational microbiome research over the past several years has demonstrated
that alterations to the microbiome are central to the development of
inflammation and metabolic disorders," saidPeter DiLaura, President and CEO
at Second Genome."The role of the microbiome in health and disease has
arrived as a significant area of focus in pharmaceutical R&D. This
collaboration with Janssen will identify mechanisms by which microbial
populations in the gut have an impact in ulcerative colitis."
Under the terms of the agreement, Second Genome will receive an upfront
payment and support for research activities conducted by Second Genome in
collaboration with Janssen. In addition, Second Genome is eligible to receive
potential payments upon the achievement of certain research milestones. The
research will be funded through the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center and
the Immunology Therapeutic Area within Janssen Research & Development, LLC.
The human microbiome is the population of more than 100 trillion
microorganisms that live in our gut, mouth, skin and elsewhere in and on the
body. These microbial communities play critical roles in supporting life and
health. They are needed to digest food, to prevent disease-causing bacteria
from invading the body, and to synthesize essential nutrients and vitamins.
Pioneering a path for translating microbiome discoveries into novel
therapeutics, Second Genome has developed a proprietary approach for
generating therapeutic candidates that modulate microbe-microbe and
microbe-human interactions that contribute to health and disease.
"A breakdown in the normal relationship between the human immune system and
the bacterial communities that reside in the gut appears to play an important
role in development of the hallmark chronic inflammation of ulcerative
colitis," said Dr. Susan Lynch, scientific advisor to Second Genome and
Director of the Colitis and Crohn's Disease Microbiome Research Core and
Associate Professor, Gastroenterology at University of California, San
Francisco. "Second Genome has a powerful platform to mine the microbiome for
potential targets which have the potential to translate into effective
therapeutics that dramatically impact patient health."
Series A Financing and Board Appointments
Separately, Second Genome announced today it has received an additional $6.5
million in Series A financing, bringing the total amount raised in the Series
A round to $11.5 million. Current investors participated in the financing,
including Advanced Technology Ventures, Morgenthaler, and Wavepoint Ventures,
and individuals including Dr. Corey Goodman, co-founder and Chair of the Board
of Directors, and Dr. Matt Winkler, also on the Board of Directors. The new
funding will be used to accelerate programs in metabolic disease,
inflammation, and infection.
Second Genome also announced the appointment of Brad A. Margus, former CEO and
co-founder of Envoy Therapeutics, to its board of directors; and Jerrold M.
Olefsky, Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego to
its scientific advisory board.
Mr. Margus co-founded Envoy Therapeutics Inc. in 2009, serving as Chief
Executive Officer prior to its acquisition by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company in
2012. Earlier, Mr. Margus co-founded Perlegen Sciences, Inc. and served as its
Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Margus has been a member of
numerous IRBs, NIH advisory committees and corporate boards. He currently
serves as Chairman and volunteer President of the A-T Children's Project; as a
Harvard Business School Global Advisor; on the Board of Children's
Neurobiological Solutions, an organization aimed at applying brain repair and
regeneration to pediatric neurological disorders; as an advisor to the Rare
Disease Network; and as Co-chair of the Network for Excellence in Neuroscience
Clinical Trials (NeuroNEXT) External Oversight Board.
Dr. Olefsky is Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San
Diego (UCSD) Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and the Associate Dean
of Scientific Affairs for the UCSD School of Medicine. His work has been
instrumental in defining the basic genetic and cellular mechanisms responsible
for the pathogenesis of Type II Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and other
diseases. Dr. Olefsky is a member of the Institute of Medicine and was the
1998 recipient of the American Diabetes Association's Banting Medal for
Scientific Achievement.He currently serves on the scientific advisory boards
of NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Metabolex, and the Profil Institute.
About Second Genome
Second Genome brings microbiome science to the discovery and development of
therapeutic products. The company has established a pipeline of microbiome
modulators that impact infection, inflammation, and metabolic diseases. Second
Genome's development pipeline is fueled by novel technologies for identifying,
screening and scientifically validating therapeutic candidates. Please visit
www.secondgenome.com for more information.
SOURCE Second Genome, Inc.
Contact: Jason Spark, Canale Communications, +1-619-849-6005,
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