US microbiome company Evolve BioSystems has raised $55 million in a Series D funding round led by Cargill and Manna Tree, as it aims to boost awareness of its probiotic that claims to improve infant gut health.
Evolve BioSystems manufactures Evivo, a proprietary probiotic that it says is proven to resolve newborn gut deficiency by restoring key bacteria in the infant gut microbiome. With the capital, the company plans to continue commercialising its next generation of probiotic.
Evivo is comprised of activated B. infantis EVC001, which studies have shown guides critical development of infants’ digestive and immune systems, according to Evolve BioSystems. The start-up claims its probiotic reduces pathogenic bacteria – which are linked to long- and short-term health issues such as colic, eczema, asthma and Type 1 Diabetes – by 80%, as well as reduce intestinal inflammation.
“We are thrilled to announce our newest investors as we continue our quest to address this health crisis in newborns,” said Timothy Brown, CEO of Evolve BioSystems, a spin-off from the Foods for Health Institute at the University of California, Davis.
“The financial support announced today, which includes strong continued support from our earlier investors, will help continue our mission to make a healthier future for our children during infancy and beyond.”
As part of the investment, Cargill and private equity firm Manna Tree will join the company’s board of directors and offer expertise in consumer awareness and product development. Other participants in the Series D round include Horizon Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Spruce Capital Partners.
Chuck Warta, president of Cargill’s health technologies business, said: “Evolve BioSystem’s Evivo has the potential to be a highly distinctive probiotic for infants and we are delighted to work with them to scale its impact.
“Our goal is to help humans live more healthy days right from the start. Together, we can harness our respective expertise and knowledge in nutrition, digestive and immune health to bring next generation ingredient solutions to our customers.”
Gabrielle Rubenstein, co-founder and CEO of Manna Tree, added: “This round of financing will continue to raise consumer and health care practitioner awareness, while supporting continued research and development. This important investment is at the very core of our mission at Manna Tree – investing in human health.”
The funding follows a series of capital raises such as a $40 million Series C round co-led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Horizon Ventures. Through its collaboration with the foundation, the company is currently involved in a clinical trial in Bangladesh to assess the impact of Evivo on infants diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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