Microba Life Sciences Limited is an Australian-based commercial-stage company with leading technology for measuring the human gut microbiome. The firm commenced trading on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) at 10.30 am (Sydney, Australia time) recently following the completion of an initial public offering (IPO).
According to industrial sources, the overall IPO that was raised was worth $30.0 million and was supported by institutional, professional, and retail investors. Bell Potter Securities Limited and Canaccord Genuity (Australia) Limited were Joint Lead Managers and Underwriters to the IPO.
According to the firm’s reports, it is a precision microbiome company with world-leading technology developed at the University of Queensland (UQ) by Microba’s founders, Professor Philip Hugenholtz and Professor Gene Tyson, who are recognized among the world’s most influential researchers of the past decade in this field.
According to the firm’s claims, Microba operates in the emerging US$4.89 billion gut microbiome sector. The world-leading technology developed by Microba is tapping into a growing body of research demonstrating that the gut microbiome plays a central role in health and disease that is driving demand for products and services to influence the gut microbiome and improve human health.
The firm also claimed that as a commercial-stage gut microbiome company, Microba provides microbiome testing services to healthcare practitioners and consumers (via distributors) powered by the Company’s world-leading gut microbiome Analysis Platform.
The firm also added that from these services, the Company has built a proprietary microbiome Databank. Microba is applying proprietary methods and artificial intelligence to the Databank to identify and develop multiple therapeutic candidates to address major chronic diseases.
The firm is executing its strategy via its three complementary business pillars:
• Microbiome Services – Microba is an established leader in microbiome testing with over 20,000 test reports sold to date. New major distribution partnerships including SYNLAB (EU), Genova Diagnostics (US), and G42 (Middle East) accelerate growth with multiple products scheduled for launch.
• Proprietary Databank – a large, unique, proprietary microbiome Databank comprising of over 1.2 million microbial genomes. Microba’s Databank has enabled the Company to identify novel therapeutic leads not identified by others.
• Microbiome Therapeutics – Microba leverages its growing Databank through a repeatable Therapeutics Platform to develop novel microbiome therapeutics. Microba has established multiple therapeutic programs, including for Inflammatory Bowel Disease with a Phase 1 clinical trial planned to commence in late 2022.
Ginkgo Bioworks investment
The firm added that NYSE-listed synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks invested USD $3.5m into Microba IPO, becoming a 4% shareholder of the Company.
Microba recently signed a therapeutic development agreement with Ginkgo Bioworks to address three autoimmune conditions. The firm’s strategy is to partner or license the Company’s therapeutic assets with large pharmaceutical companies early in clinical development in return for upfront, milestone, and royalty payments.
According to the firm’s reports, this offer will enable Microba to accelerate the growth of its Services and Therapeutics business and further develop its platform technology.
Microba is led by an experienced Board with microbiome expertise complemented by drug discovery experts. This includes Professor Ian Frazer, co-inventor of the technology enabling Gardasil – the leading vaccine currently used worldwide to help prevent cervical cancer. Professor Frazer is a clinician-scientist, trained as a clinical immunologist, a Professor at the University of Queensland, and is the current Chair of the Australian Federal Government’s Australian Medical Research Advisory Board.
Microba’s Chairman, Pasquale Rombola, commented: “We continue to build a world-leading human gut microbiome company, supported by partnerships and agreements with large, well-respected companies such as SYNLAB, Ginkgo Bioworks, and Illumina. We have attracted these partners due to our world-leading technology, unique proprietary Databank, and therapeutic assets. Pasquale further explained: “Our leading technology position and a growing number of international partnerships provide a strong platform for growth. We have received significant investor demand to continue building the premier global microbiome dataset and accelerating the discovery and development of new therapies. Microba will have a positive impact on human lives globally when we are successful in achieving our goals.”