M&A review: November’s M&A, licensing, and investment roundup

A new study helps to explain how nerve cells sense the microbes in the gut and how they coordinate their function with other tissues in the digestive tract.

Every month Microbiome Post brings you our highlights of the most important news and investments taking place. While November was a slightly quieter month, there was still significant activity:

Global food and nutrition giant Kerry sealed a deal to buy Canadian biotechnology company Bio-K+ International, giving the chance for a global rollout of its Bio-K+ brand globally. Having also acquired the land and facilities at Bio-K+ site in Laval, the company said Kerry will continue to produce Bio-K+ probiotic products in at the plant – thus making it possible to maintain all current jobs in place while creating future jobs with the growth in sales. The acquisition further expands Kerry’s position as a leader in the microbiome and nutrition space on the back of its acquisition of immune health brand Wellmune in 2015, and the 2017 acquisition of the probiotic specialist Ganeden and its BC30 strain.

Israel-based drug development and biopharmaceutical company Galmed Pharmaceuticals will collaborate with MyBiotics a pre-clinical platform microbiome company, to identify and develop the bespoke microbiome signitutre of Galmed’s lead candidate Aramchol. Under the collaboration, MyBiotics will use its proprietary SuperDonor technology along AI and screening platforms in order to identify and optimize NASH patient’s gut flora and to enhance Aramchol’s clinical efficacy and response rate.

ADM Ventures, a corporate venture capital arm of global biotech and microbiome player ADM, announced its investment in Seventure’s Health For Life Capital (HFLC) Fund II. Paris-based Seventure, and its HFLC are leading venture capital funds dedicated to health, nutrition, microbiota and digital health. Darren Streiler, managing director of ADM Ventures, said ADM believes Seventure can help meet the long-term demand it sees as the result of the convergence of food and pharmaceuticals and consumers looking more towards bioactives and nutrition for wellness solutions.

Another company Seventure’s €250 million fund is Cargill. The global food and nutrition giant also committed to a ‘significant investment’ in Seventure’s HFLC Fund II. Cargill said it hopes the investment can accelerate product innovation and gain insights into the latest technologies and trends in the digestive and immune health space. Seventure’s network of strategic investors in the fund also includes Danone, Novartis and Lesaffre.

Microbiome profiling firm Bio-Me will work with California-based Siolta Therapeutics to develop microbiome-based paediatric allergy and asthma test. Under the agreement, Siolta will provide both samples and insights into key criteria for Bio-Me to develop a rapid, detailed and comprehensive diagnostic test for infants at risk of developing allergy and asthma.

French microbiome specialist YSOPIA Bioscience announced funding Bpifrance and the European Regional Development Fund through Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region for a total of €1.55M. The new funding will help drive YSOPIA’s biotherapeutics pipeline specialising in keystone single-strain bacteria forward.