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Second Genome Inks Development Deal with Janssen; Raises Additional $6.5M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Microbiome company Second Genome today announced a deal with Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Biotech aimed at microbiome drug discovery.

Second Genome also announced it raised an additional $6.5 million in Series A financing.

Its deal with Janssen is focused on "therapeutic mechanisms in ulcerative colitis mediated by" the microbiome. As part of the deal, the San Bruno, Calif.-based firm will use its microbiome modulation discovery platform to characterize the role of bacterial populations in ulcerative colitis. The firm's proprietary method for generating therapeutic candidates modulates microbe-microbe and microbe-human interactions that influence health and disease, it said.

According to Peter DiLaura, president and CEO of Second Genome, "This collaboration with Janssen will identify mechanisms by which microbial populations in the gut have an impact in ulcerative colitis."

In connection with the agreement, Second Genome will receive an upfront payment and is eligible for potential payments contingent on certain research milestones being achieved. Janssen will also provide support for research activities jointly performed in collaboration with Second Genome.

The Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center and the Immunology Therapeutic Area within Janssen Research & Development will fund the research, Second Genome said.

The company also announced it raised an additional $6.5 million in Series A financing, bringing the total raised in the round to $11.5 million.

The funding will go toward accelerating programs in metabolic disease, inflammation, and infection.

Current investors participated in the latest raise, including Advanced Technology Ventures, Morgenthaler, and Wavepoint Ventures. Individuals, such as company Co-Founder and Chairman Corey Goodman, and board member Matt Winkler, also participated.

Additionally, the company said that former CEO and Co-founder of Envoy Therapeutics Brad Margus has joined Second Genome's board. University of California, San Diego Professor of Medicine Jerrold Olefsky was appointed to the company's scientific advisory board.

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