Seres signs on with Nestlé Health Science in gut drug partnership
- Seres Therapeutics, a microbiome therapeutics company, signed a potentially $2 billion partnership agreement with Nestlé Health Science. With the deal, Nestlé Health Science will be Seres' main international partner and gains the rights to four of Seres' clinical programs.
- Nestlé will pay Seres $120 million upfront, in addition to milestone payments associated with Seres' four programs. Nestlé will also pay one-third of the phase 3 costs for three of the programs.
- Seres' programs are focused on developing microbiome-based therapies to treat C. dificile, inflammatory bowel disease, and Crohn's disease.
Microbiome-based therapeutics is a hot area right now. It has gained considerable traction because researchers have shown strong correlations between having a healthy gastrointestinal microbiome and the ability to ward off hard-to-treat bacterial infections caused by C. dificile.
Seres' lead candidate is SER-109, which uses a mix of spores from various types of bacteria in order to restore a healthy microbial balance. In early-phase studies, SER-109 cured C. dificile infection in 29 of 30 treated patients—a compelling level of efficacy that Seres will attempt to replicate in larger phase 3 trials.
The value of the deal with Nestle could reach $2 billion if all four of Seres clinical programs make it to market.