Scioto Biosciences, an Indianapolis-based startup focused on developing new drugs targeting brain and bowel diseases, has closed on $26.5 million in new funding.
The company said Tuesday the funding will support clinical development of its lead drug candidate, which targets disorders related to the gut-brain axis, such as autism spectrum disorder, and disorders related to gut injury, such as necrotizing enterocolitis.
The experimental drug, known as SB-121, is built on the company’s proprietary platform of activated bacterial therapeutics. The platform was invented by researchers at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Scioto has an exclusive global license on the platform.
Scioto said the investment was made by Genome & Co., a publicly traded microbiome company headquartered in South Korea. The deal gives Genome & Co. a majority stake in Scioto and expands the Korean company’s presence into the United States.
“We are very much looking forward to partnering with Genome & Co. to continue to develop the ABT platform,” said Joe Trebley, CEO of Scioto Biosciences, in a written statement. “We are excited to have them as a development partner with deep microbiome expertise and better access to Asian markets.”
Scioto, a preclinical stage company, was founded in 2017 as a partnership between Monon Bioventures and the Wexner Research Institute. The company previously raised more than $4 million in venture funding.