Scots Investment Bank boosts EnteroBiotix £27m raise

EnteroBiotix CEO James McIlroy and Simon Comer, Director of Innovation, Scottish National Investment Bank

Bellshill-based biopharma firm EnteroBiotix Limited is set to expand and accelerate its work after raising more than £27 million in funding from new and existing investors.

The firm 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 £27 million financing comprises £15.7 million of new equity and the conversion of £11.6 million of loan notes into equity and comes from experienced US-based life science investors Thairm Bio and Kineticos Life Sciences, as well as new equity of £6 million from the Scottish National Investment Bank.

Existing investors including Scottish Enterprise and many of the company’s private investors also participated.

EnteroBiotix will use the capital to make progress with 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 nearby 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.

McIlroy 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.”

McIlroy added: “This significant new investment helps enable our vision of transforming the standard of care for patients suffering from serious conditions linked to the gut microbiome.

“It will help accelerate the development of our innovative product pipeline and propels us towards our goal of bringing these innovative treatments to market.

“We look forward to working closely with our new partners at the Bank and with our existing investors to bring this vision to fruition, for the benefit of patients across the globe.”