Ireland-based life sciences investment firm Malin has taken a 32% equity stake in newly established Yale University spinout Artizan Biosciences. Malin says its investment in Artizan’s founding equity round was carried out alongside strategic partner Hatteras Venture Partners. Financial details were not disclosed.
Artizan was set up last year to develop a platform for identifying and targeting pathogenic intestinal bacteria. The platform originates from the laboratory of Yale’s professor Richard Flavell, Ph.D., FRS. Artizan’s lead program is focused on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but the firm says the microbiome-targeting approach could potentially lead to treatments for other gut-related disorders as well as autoimmune diseases, obesity, and a range of skin, lung and central nervous system diseases. Artizan is headed based in Durham, NC, with laboratories in New Haven, CT. The firm is headed by CEO James Rosen, who most recently led the venture capital investment practice for The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Malin’s investment in Artizan comes just a few weeks after it took a 33% stake in newly formed Wren Therapeutics. Wren is a Cambridge, U.K.-based biopharma focused on developing small-molecule drugs against diseases caused by protein misfolding, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and rare forms of amyloidosis.
Microbiome research was in the news last week, when the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI) announced establishing multiple research collaborations. JHMI is focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of next-generation microbial products.