BoobyBiome, a female-led start-up developing a live biotherapeutic product to address the spectrum of infant gut needs, has raised £1.3M in equity and grant funding, including backing from Discovery Park Ventures, the investment fund launched earlier this year by Discovery Park.
Founded by scientists Dr Lydia Mapstone, Dr Sioned Jones and Tara O’Driscoll, BoobyBiome is developing a novel product for babies who do not have access to the beneficial microbiome in breast milk.
BoobyBiome has uncovered a community of bacteria essential during the early stages of life. Now working in collaboration with the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), BoobyBiome is assembling these bacteria species into a live biotherapeutic product that will be given to babies when breast milk is not available.
The product will improve long-term health and fill a gap in both the probiotic market (worth $60.89B 2021 and projected to increase at a CAGR of 9.5% between 2021 and 2022, Probiotics Global Market Report 2022) and live biotherapeutic market (worth $355.9M 2021 and projected to increase at a CAGR of 25% between 2022 and 2030, InsightAce Analytic 2022). The company’s findings were a result of high-resolution analysis of donated breast milk samples, and rigorous testing of the living microorganisms that reside within.
The pre-seed equity round was led by Venrex Management LLP and includes notable participation from both Discovery Park Ventures and angel investor Simon Galbraith of Cade Hill Investments.
BoobyBiome has also been awarded non-dilutive funding by the Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst programme to collaborate with the CPI. In addition, the BBSRC Doctoral Career Development Fund has awarded two fellowships to Lydia and Sioned to assist with the company’s development. These new funds will accelerate the scale-up of BoobyBiome’s innovative and scientifically driven product.
Since its founding, BoobyBiome has worked alongside Associate Professor Dr Mona Bajaj-Elliot at the Institute of Child Health in Great Ormond Street Hospital to understand what makes breast milk bacteria so important.
BoobyBiome is chaired by Colin Bennett, currently at the University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Medicine, Centre for Medicine Discovery. Colin was previously the founding chair at EnteroBiotix, a leading human microbiome-modulating therapeutics company.
The founding team of BoobyBiome commented, “Our new investors, Venrex, Discovery Park Ventures and Cade Hill, bring a range of complementary expertise to our company. BoobyBiome is very excited to be working with them and we thank them for their support, as well as Innovate UK and the BBSRC. As we develop a clearer picture of the breast milk microbiome, BoobyBiome is focused on developing a life-changing product for babies worldwide.”
Mayer Schreiber, Chairman of Discovery Park Ventures, said, ‘BoobyBiome is developing a leadership position in understanding the breast milk microbiome. Its products have the potential to transform infant and life-long health and we are delighted to welcome the company to the Discovery Park Ventures portfolio as our third investment.”
Simon Galbraith of Cade Hill Investments said, ‘I am really excited to be part of making the world a better place and am enjoying working with the great entrepreneurs at BoobyBiome. We hope to positively impact millions of lives.’