Evolve, a microbiome spin-out company from the University of California at Davis, is developing probiotics and prebiotics for new born infants during the crucial early months of development.
Speaking at Probiota Americas in San Diego earlier this year, Dr David Kyle, CEO of Evolve, explained that the company has a proprietary combination of activated probiotic bacteria, prebiotics and delivery systems to provide, restore and maintain a healthy microbiome in infants during the first 6 months of life - with particular focus on those born prematurely, delivered by Caesarian section or fed exclusively with formula milk.
The products are based on a decade of research into the developing infant microbiome and its relationship with the natural nutrients in human breast milk.
“Completion of the Series A round ahead of schedule is a reflection of both the importance of the ground-breaking discoveries of the Company’s founders at the University of California at Davis, and a compelling business case that focuses on the improvement of the health trajectory for babies worldwide” said Dr Kyle, who is also the former founder of Martek Biosciences.
“Evolve’s deep understanding of the innate balance and dietary control of a healthy infant microbiome has demonstrated the need for new pro- and prebiotic products to return these precious systems to their natural state. This investment is timely, as it will accelerate our efforts to move these new discoveries into commercial products that can improve the health outcomes for infants globally.”
Evolve is not only focusing on infant health, however, and the company’s discovery platform is now being applied to solving dysbiosis issues throughout the human life cycle as well as in similar problems in production animal species.
The investment from Tate & Lyle is part of a $9 million financing round led by Horizons Ventures, and follows a 2014 seed investment in the California-based company.
“Having originally invested in Evolve in August 2014, we are delighted to support the company as it progresses its research, clinical, and commercial endeavors” said Dr Simon Barnes, managing partner of Tate and Lyle Ventures, and a member of the board of directors of Evolve.
“Over the past year the Evolve management team has raised Seed Capital, licensed a substantial suite of intellectual property from the University of California, initiated clinical trials, and commenced business development activities for a range of products and technologies being developed by the Company.”
The news of the funding comes hot on the heels of Evolve’s announcement in June that it had completed the licensing of seven families of intellectual property from the UC Davis.
The licensed IP is seen as critical to the future development of the company as it progresses the clinical trials of its proprietary probiotic and prebiotic products.