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Pfizer invests $25m in Vedanta BioSciences' IBD treatment

Published on 13/01/21 at 10:38am

Pfizer has invested $25 million in Vedanta Biosciences, a clinical-stage company developing a new category of therapies for immune-mediated diseases, as part of the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative.

Vedanta intends to use the proceeds to fund a Phase II study of its orally-administered investigational live biotherapeutic product VE202 in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which it plans to initiate in 2021. Topline Phase I study data showed VE202 was generally safe and well-tolerated at all doses and demonstrated durable and dose-dependent colonisation.

The treatment is made from pure, clonal bacterial cell banks, which yield a standardised drug product in powdered form and bypass the need to rely on direct sourcing of fecal donor material of inconsistent composition. VE202 was designed to induce immune tolerance via the gut and thereby potentially treat inflammatory bowel disease.

Dr Michael Vincent, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Inflammation & Immunology Research Unit at Pfizer, said: “Inflammatory bowel disease has a daily, chronic impact on as many as 1.6 million Americans, and with cases on the rise in the US, patients urgently need new therapeutic options.

“We believe Vedanta’s approach to modulating the microbiome may hold promise for people living with IBD, and we are excited for its potential as this important study moves forward.”

As part of the investment, Dr Vincent will join Vedanta’s Scientific Advisory Board. Vedanta will retain control of all its programmes, and has granted Pfizer a right of first negotiation on VE202.

Darcy Jimenez

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