Rich Nestle deals points to high hopes for Seres’s microbiome therapy

Nestle must see substantial potential in SER-109, Seres’s microbiome project which promises to prevent recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection. The Swiss chocolate giant has paid $175m up-front for US and Canadian rights – it already had rights elsewhere thanks to a 2016 deal. Nestle is also on the hook for another $125m on FDA approval, which seems unlikely to happen until 2023. The project is arguably the most advanced in a small pipeline of microbiome projects targeting C diff, all of which aim to repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria. The approach has shown promise, with Seres stock having surged five-fold since its phase 3 success last year. Among larger developers only Nestle has shown interest in this particular setting; Takeda and Gilead have made moves in broader GI disorders. Seres said it conducted a “competitive process” although it is hard to know who the other bidders might have been. After splashing out $2.6bn on Aimmune last year Nestle is clearly happy to throw money at these endeavours. And if the terms are anything to go by, it has considerably higher commercial hopes for SER-109 than the sellside, which had pencilled in US and Canadian sales of $326m by 2026, according to Evaluate Pharma.

Microbiome players targeting recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection
Company Project/setting  Detail
Seres SER-109; oral Jul '21: Nestle pays $175m up front to extend commercialisation deal to include US and Canada. US filing planned for H2'22.
Ferring (ex Rebiotix) RBX2660; enema Ph3 Punch CD3-OLS trial ongoing, data 2022. 
Ferring (ex Rebiotix) RBX7455; oral Early academic sponsored studies ongoing.
Finch Therapeutics CP101; oral Ph2 data expected H2'21; ph3 due to start mid-year. 
Vedanta VE303; oral Received Barda funding in Sep '20; ph2 data and further plans awaited. 
Destiny Pharma  NTCD-M3; oral  Acquired in Nov '20; ph3 due to start 2022. 
Source: Evaluate Pharma, company statements. 

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