Biosys appoints Axel Wiest to Board of Directors

London, UK (10 February 2017) – Biosys UK Limited (“Biosys” or the “Company”), a clinical-stage microbiome company dedicated to the development of targeted oral immune therapies that modulate the gut microbiome, initially focused on the treatment of C.difficile infection (“CDI”), is pleased to announce that Axel Wiest, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., has joined the board of the Company. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has declared C.difficile one of three urgent public health threats as it causes life-threatening diarrhea. In 2011, there were almost half a million infections in the US alone and 29,000 CDI-associated deaths within 30 days of initial diagnosis. It has been report that CDI 30-day mortality rates are as high as 14% in some countries. C. difficile has become the most common microbial cause of healthcare-associated infections in US hospitals and results in up to $6.3 billion in excess health care costs annually. The Biosys group of companies (the “Group”) is harnessing the power of oral polyclonal IgA therapies to modulate gut microbiota composition and restore host–microbial symbiosis to treat CDI. Oral polyclonal antibodies have specificity for multiple epitopes and can be delivered directly to the site of infection or dysbiosys in the intestine. The secretory component of sIgA protects it from digestion which provides an advantage over IgG antibodies. The initial focus is on CDI where the Group’s oral polyclonal antibodies target both the C.difficile spores and bacteria that cause relapse and recurrence of infection, as well as the C.difficile toxins that cause clinical symptoms and disease pathologies. This is a targeted approach that eliminates specific pathogens and reduces the recolonization of C.difficile... read more

MSI, an Inventages portfolio company, raises US$30 million investment to advance treatment for patients suffering with Major Depressive Disorder

MSI (MSI Methylation Sciences Inc.), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, announced a US$30 million investment from Quark Venture Inc. to advance development of a once-daily oral, small molecule therapy for adjunctive treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). MDD is estimated to affect around 16 million Americans (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 2013) and, according to the World Health Organization (2012), is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Among the U.S. workforce, the prevalence of MDD has been estimated at 7.6% (Birnbaum et al., 2010).  A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Greenberg et al (2015)), examined trends in costs associated with MDD and estimated that the total economic burden of MDD is $210.5 billion per year in the U.S. According to key industry analysts about one-third of patients treated with standard antidepressant therapy will end up being treatment resistant to multiple lines of therapy. This is estimated to be about 7 million patients in the U.S. alone.  Current therapy includes dosing with a-typical anti-psychotics which are estimated to have about 4.1 prescriptions into this depression patient group per year. “The currently marketed antidepressants work through similar pathways in the brain and do not adequately treat individuals with major depression.  New medicines that work in different ways represent tools for both doctors and patients in treating people who inadequately respond to marketed antidepressants,” said Karimah Es Sabar, Chief Executive Officer of Quark Venture. “MSI’s lead product, MSI-195, directly addresses this problem. MSI’s strong track record of formulation and clinical development, a strong patent portfolio and its experienced management team validated our investment in MSI. Quark Venture is... read more

Accera Appoints Jeffrey Cummings and Bruno Vellas to Scientific Advisory Board

Accera, Inc., an Inventages portfolio company focused on product development for Alzheimer’s disease, today announced the appointment of Jeffrey L. Cummings, M.D., Sc.D. and Bruno Vellas, M.D., Ph.D. to the company’s Scientific Advisory Board. “As we progress toward Phase 3 data from the NOURISH AD study later this year and the initiation of our second Phase 3 study next year, we continue to build upon our existing network and team of leading Alzheimer’s experts,” said Accera’s president and CEO, Dr. Charles Stacey. “Dr. Cummings and Dr. Vellas are both distinguished and experienced Alzheimer’s disease researchers, and we are pleased to have them join Dr. Martin Farlow and Dr. Michael Weiner on our scientific advisory board. We look forward to the board’s guidance and input as we advance the development of AC-1204 for the treatment Alzheimer’s disease.” Dr. Cummings is the director of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada and Cleveland, Ohio. He is the Camille and Larry Ruvo Chair of the Neurological Institute of Cleveland Clinic and Professor of Medicine (Neurology), Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. Additionally, Dr. Cummings serves as the principal investigator and director of the Center for Neurodegeneration and Translational Neuroscience. Previously, Dr. Cummings was a professor of neurology and psychiatry at UCLA where he was also the director of the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and the director of the Deane F. Johnson Center for Neurotherapeutics. Dr. Cummings has authored or edited 39 books and published over 700 peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Vellas is the chairman of the Toulouse Gerontopole... read more

Vital Food Processors Ltd, an Inventages portfolio company, announces the sale of the Kiwi Crush™ and Kiwi Crushies™ product ranges Seeka Kiwifruit Industries Ltd.

Vital Food Processors Ltd, an Inventages portfolio company, today announced the sale of its non-core product ranges Kiwi Crush and Kiwi Crushies to Seeka Kiwifruit Industries (NZX-SEK), New Zealand’s and Australia’s largest kiwifruit grower, for an undisclosed sum. The sale of the Kiwi Crush and Kiwi Crushies business to one of its long-standing strategic partners allows Vital Foods to focus its resources and Auckland-based manufacturing operations on the international development of and demand for its digestive health product range Phloe™, sold in New Zealand by Douglas Pharmaceuticals Ltd since September 2015. Vital Foods launched Phloe in the New Zealand market in early 2008 and it quickly became the leading digestive health products sold in New Zealand pharmacies. The success of Phloe in the New Zealand market and the portfolio of clinical trials and basic research completed by Vital Foods on Phloe’s active ingredient Zyactinase® form the foundation for the commercialization of Phloe throughout the world. About Vital Foods Vital Food Processors develops, manufactures and sells effective 100% natural digestive aids utilizing a proprietary kiwifruit extract called Zyactinase™, which promote bowel regularity and long term digestive health without the adverse effects of other constipation and digestive health products. If you want to know more about Vital Foods and its products please visit... read more

Nestlé Health Science announces staged acquisition of Phagenesis, an Inventages portfolio company

Nestlé Health Science (NHSc) and Phagenesis announced today that NHSc is entering into a staged, milestone-based acquisition of Phagenesis, a medical device company that has developed a new treatment for dysphagia. Under the terms of the agreement, NHSc will make an upfront payment, followed by milestone-based funding, while Phagenesis completes the clinical evaluation of Phagenyx®. The staged acquisition will be based upon successful completion of European and US development programs anticipated by 2019. Financial terms have not been disclosed. To read the full press release, visit:  ... read more

Steaz, an Inventages portfolio company, announces it has been acquired

Steaz, an Inventages portfolio company, announces it has been acquired by a privately-held strategic buyer. Founded in 2002 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Steaz develops, sources and markets organic, fair trade, ready-to-drink (“RTD”) green tea based products. Steaz launched the first organic energy drink in the industry in 2007 followed by their line of RTD Iced Tea in 2008. Based on IRI industry data, Steaz Iced Tea continues to be the fastest growing RTD Iced Tea in the natural and organic category. With its history of innovation, in March 2016 Steaz launched a new product in the functional water space, Steaz Cactus Water, which combines prickly pear – the berry-like superfruit of cactus – with green tea. Steaz has grown rapidly in recent years, becoming one of the leading organic, green tea-based beverage platforms in the country with a loyal consumer following. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Erich Sieber, Partner and SVP at Inventages Venture Capital, commented “Inventages, as a long-term investor and partner, has supported Steaz with strategic advice and encouraged product innovation enabling sustainable profitable growth. Born in the natural trade, Steaz has proven its brand in the grocery, club and mass channels in the recent years making Steaz an attractive acquisition target”. “While we are very excited for this next chapter in Company history, we are also very thankful for the long term support of Inventages over the past eight years. Without their financial and managerial support, the Company and brand would not be where it is today. Inventages reinforced the brand through those early “heavy lifting” periods, understanding the needs and challenges” said Linda Barron,... read more

Accera, an Inventages Portfolio Company, has appointed C. Evan Ballantyne as Chief Financial Officer

Accera, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on product development for Alzheimer’s disease, today announced the appointment of C. Evan Ballantyne as chief financial officer. “Evan brings to Accera over 30 years of financial experience with a strong emphasis in healthcare and drug development in both public and private companies,” said Dr. Charles Stacey, CEO of Accera. “His financial leadership and expertise will be critical as we continue to focus on the development of AC-1204, with data from our first Phase 3 study expected later this year, and prepare for the initiation of our second Phase 3 trial in 2017.” Mr. Ballantyne joins Accera from Agenus, Inc. where he has been the chief financial officer. Prior to Agenus, he was the chief financial officer of Synthetic Biologics, Inc. and before that, he served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Clinical Data, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by Forest Labs for $1.3 billion. Mr. Ballantyne has also held chief financial officer positions at medical technology companies Avedro, Inc. and Zymequest, Inc. earlier in his career, he served as chief operating and chief financial officer at ACNielsen Corporation and held financial positions at IMS Health and Dun & Bradstreet. Mr. Ballantyne holds a BA from the University of Western Ontario and a post-graduate degree in business administration from the University of Windsor. About the NOURISH AD Phase 3 Clinical Study NOURISH AD is a 26-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study investigating the effects of daily administration of AC-1204 in subjects with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, with an optional 26-week open-label extension. The primary and key... read more

Immbio releases phase 1 safety and immunogenic results

Data presented as invited oral presentation at 10th International Symposium on Pneumococci & Pneumococcal Diseases  Antibody responses to ubiquitous antigens across strains shown, indicative of broad protection  Statistically significant increases in antibody response were achieved in the 200 (mid) and 500 μ (high) dose , in comparison to the placebo group  100% of subjects in the high dose group achieved a significant immune response  Study demonstrated a dose response relationship  Proven safety will allow further development of the vaccine, specific to at-risk groups for pneumococcal disease Cambridge, UK, 30 June 2016 — ImmunoBiology Ltd (“ImmBio” or the Company), a biopharmaceutical company developing next generation anti-infective vaccines based on its proprietary ImmBioVax™technology, reports positive results from the First-in-Human study of its novel vaccine, PnuBioVax™, against the bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae (NCT02572635). PnuBioVax was found to be safe and well tolerated, and capable of producing antibody responses against key S. pneumoniae antigens broadly conserved across strains. The data was presented today at the International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD), Glasgow, UK. “The results of this study have demonstrated the safety of PnuBioVax in adults, and we are now looking at developing the vaccine further, focusing on the at-risk populations for pneumococcal disease of the young and the elderly” said Dr Chris Bailey, Development Director at ImmBio. Graham Clarke, CEO of ImmBio, commented: “Demonstrating that PnuBioVax is safe and immunogenic through this phase I clinical study is a fundamental step in our mission to create a universal vaccine against pneumococcal disease. This provides the real prospect of a strain-independent pneumococcal disease prophylactic vaccine. We are now looking... read more

Steaz is excited to be sponsoring “You’re Welcome Wednesdays” on ellentube for the month of May 2016

Steaz has partnered with popular American comedian and television host, Ellen DeGeneres. With over 13 million viewers tuning in to the Ellen show each week, 44 million followers on Twitter and over 18 million followers on Facebook, ELLEN’s effective use of on-air and social media creates an engaging cross-platform experience that sets the show apart. Steaz is excited to be sponsoring “You’re Welcome Wednesdays” on ellentube for the month of May 2016. Each week highlights Steaz’ newest product line, Cactus Water, in Ellen’s comedic way with fun ideas and tips from the prickly pear margarita for Cinco de Mayo to how to hydrate, perk up, “soothe your soul” or have the perfect “staycation” with Steaz! Give your mind, body, and soul a recharge with these soothing tips. You’re Welcome. #YoureWelcomeWednesday Find out more about Steaz here:... read more

Mission in a Bottle – The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently – and Succeeding

Honest Tea is certainly one of the success stories of the organic launches that created the $36bn US organic food industry. Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff started the company in 1998 as a precursor of quality ice tea. It achieved $23m sales by year ten, when Inventages invested together with Stonyfield Farm. A year later, in 2008, Coke bought 40% of Honest Tea, with the remaining 60% in 2010. Inventages was instrumental during the exit negotiation that Coke had to purchase the 60% at an agreed price formula within 3 years. In 2015, Seth reduced his involvement in Honest Tea and joint Coke’ venture arm VEB as well as becoming executive chairman at Beyond Meat. And he became a comic book hero. In “Mission in a Bottle – The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently – and Succeeding”, Seth and Barry tell the story of their start-up in a very personal matter. The book transposes the often lonely start-up life with its up and downs in an inspiring way – a must read for any one considering starting a company! Available on Amazon, iBookstore, Barnes&Nobel Hardcover: 304 pages Publisher: Crown Business Publish Date: Sept. 3, 2013 ISBN-10: 0770437494 ISBN-13: 978-0770437497... read more