SciBac – CLSI FAST Graduate Wins up to $3.76M from CARB-X
SciBac, a preclinical stage Bay Area biotechnology company and graduate of CLSI’s FAST Advisory Program, recently won a CARB-X non-dilutive, milestone-based award of up to $3.76M to develop rEvolutionary live biotherapeutics that treat and prevent antibiotic resistant disease while fortifying the human microbiome. Using their patented non-GMO technology, SciBac selectively mates microbes to create hybrid probiotics that target specific diseases through multiple modes of action and enhance the microbiome for faster recovery and reduced risk of reinfections. Their first indication is the treatment and prevention of Clostridium difficile infections (C. diff.), a deadly diarrheal disease and one of our nation’s top antibiotic resistant threats. SciBac is also expanding their pipeline to treat chronic Pseudomonas and Staph. aureus (including MRSA) infections in cystic fibrosis patients with their inhaled live biotherapeutic, SCB-203 (Aeruguard).
SciBac joined CLSI’s FAST Advisory Program in the Fall of 2016. At the time, Jeanette Mucha, SciBac’s Founder and CEO, was the Chief Scientific Officer and focused on developing their C. difficile therapeutic, SCB-102 (DiffiKil). Jeanette and Cofounder CTO Anthony Cann, PhD, were conducting preliminary animal safety tests and preclinical animal toxicity and pharmacology studies, and developing a regulatory strategy to obtain Biologics License Application (BLA) approval. Through the FAST program, SciBac gained invaluable advice from drug developers and veteran entrepreneurs about bringing a product from concept to FDA approval, building a successful business model and development strategy. From its network of over 300 volunteer industry advisors, CLSI put together a FAST Advisory team that brought the experience that matched SciBac’s needs – biotech CEO and CFOs, corporate and venture investors, medical and biologics CMC experts – and they met in person on a weekly basis.
After graduating from the FAST program, CLSI continued to work closely with SciBac, introducing them to potential investors and connecting them to advisors to help with contract negotiations for strategic partnerships, evaluating their technology and regulatory challenges, and enhancing the company structure. In February 2017, Jeanette assumed the role of CEO, and her main focus has been to raise money for the company. When SciBac applied for funding from CARB-X, CLSI provided guidance and constructive feedback to application drafts and materials, and put together a mock review panel of volunteers with extensive experience in infectious disease R&D to help SciBac prepare for the face-to-face presentation to the CARB-X Scientific Advisory Board.
SciBac has achieved many successes, such as obtaining a $350,000 seed award from the Thiel Foundation’s Breakout Labs. They also have a few industrial project contracts with global companies, which have already brought in over $300,000 in revenue. SciBac’s most recent success with the CARB-X award will be used to fund early stage development of SCB-102 (DiffiKil), their antibiotic alternative to prevent and treat recurrent C. diff. SciBac is currently raising a series A round of funding to develop Aeruguard and extend their pipeline. Their vision for this decade is to shift the paradigm of how antibiotic resistant disease is treated in the gut and lungs, saving tens of thousands of lives from C. diff and increasing the quality and longevity of cystic fibrosis patients’ lives. SciBac’s long-term mission is to use their novel biotherapeutics to prevent antibiotic resistant superbugs from becoming the plague of the modern world.
CARB-X is the world’s largest public-private partnership devoted to supporting early development antibacterial R&D. Funded by ASPR/BARDA, Wellcome Trust, the UK Government Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)’s Global AMR Innovation Fund (GAMRIF), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with in-kind support from NIAID, CARB-X is investing more than $500 million from 2016-2021 to support the development of innovative therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics, devices and other life-saving products. CARB-X supports research focused on high priority drug-resistant bacteria, especially Gram-negatives. CARB-X is headquartered at the Boston University School of Law. Other partners include RTI International, the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, MassBio, and the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI). www.carb-x.org.
The CARB-X award to SciBac reported in this feature is supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number IDSEP160030 from ASPR/BARDA and by an award from Wellcome Trust, as administrated by CARB-X. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, other funders, or CARB-X.