Bank backs ambitious gut health biopharma business EnteroBiotix

(L to R) James McIlroy (CEO of Enterobiotix), Simon Comer (Director of Innovation, Scottish National Investment Bank)

Pioneering biopharma firm EnteroBiotix is set to expand and accelerate its work after raising more than £27m in funding from new and existing investors. 

The Scottish biopharmaceutical company employs around 50 people and aims to transform the lives of patients suffering from a range of conditions by developing best-in-class microbiome medicines. 

EnteroBiotix is carrying out clinical trials of drugs designed to prevent and treat a range of conditions including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), blood cancer and liver cirrhosis. 

The £27m financing includes new equity of £6m from the Scottish National Investment Bank (“the Bank”), £10m from other investors and around £11m of loan notes converting to equity. 

EnteroBiotix will use the capital to progress key clinical trials that will add significantly to the quantity and quality of the data it gathers. The firm achieved a notable milestone this week when the first patient was dosed in a phase two clinical trial in the UK. The study will evaluate EBX-102-02, the firm’s next-generation, full-spectrum drug for the treatment of IBS, which comes as an easy-to-take capsule and is manufactured in Scotland. 

The human body harbours ecosystems of micro-organisms, including bacteria and viruses, whose genomic potential and activity are known collectively as ‘the microbiome’. Dr James McIlroy founded EnteroBiotix six years ago in Aberdeen with the vision of building one of the world’s leading microbiome drug development companies. 

In 2022, EnteroBiotix opened its new 20,000-square-foot manufacturing lab in Bellshill and has laboratory space at BioCity, where the company is creating a new lab to provide additional capacity.  

Last year, the company appointed former Merck executive Elmar Schnee as Executive Chairman and strengthened its executive team in the first few weeks of 2024 with the appointments of Dr James Barnes as Chief Operating Officer and Chris Lea as Chief Financial Officer. 

Dr James McIlroy, EnteroBiotix CEO, said: “This funding is further endorsement of EnteroBiotix and our vision of creating treatments that can have a global impact.

“Our facilities across the central belt of Scotland are the most advanced of their kind in Europe. They ensure safe, high-quality and consistent in-house manufacturing.

“The support from the Scottish National Investment Bank means we can invest in our R&D programmes, our team, and our facilities. Our long-term mission is to transform the standard of care for patients suffering from high unmet clinical needs associated with the gut microbiome.

“Scotland’s life sciences sector is a growing industry, and with the Bank’s backing we can also contribute to improving skills and enhancing knowledge.”

Simon Comer, Director of Innovation at the Scottish National Investment Bank, said: “EnteroBiotix is a pioneering company that is helping put Scotland on the world map of life sciences.

“Its drug manufacturing technology aligns with the Bank’s mission of harnessing innovation. Our investment of £6 million, as part of a larger total funding package, is a major step forward for the company as it accelerates the pace to develop treatments that will ultimately provide great relief to patients living with a range of conditions. 

“We are proud to support this innovative company achieve its ambitions to deliver treatment to patients on a global scale.”

The Bank invested alongside Thairm Bio and Kineticos Life Sciences. 

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