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Bactolife Raises EUR 30 million in Series A Financing

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  •  Funding provides Bactolife with sufficient capital to commercialise its proprietary Binding Proteins™ and further strengthen its technology platform
  •  Financing was led by ATHOS, with participation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and existing investors, incl. Novo Holdings, making it one of the   largest bioindustrial Series A funding rounds in Europe

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Aug. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Bactolife A/S (“Bactolife”), a bioindustrial company developing proprietary Binding ProteinsTM, which strengthen the gut microbiome of humans and animals with the aim of reducing the burden of gastrointestinal infections and anti-microbial resistance, today announced that it has successfully raised EUR >30 million since its April 2021 seed round.

The financing round is led by ATHOS with participation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and existing investors, incl. Novo Holdings. Proceeds from the financing will enable Bactolife to advance its most mature projects towards commercial launch and strengthen the technology platform and upscaling capabilities.  By doing so, the company aims at retaining its first mover advantage to transform human and animal health with target specific Binding Proteins™.

Sebastian Søderberg, CEO of Bactolife said: “We are very pleased and humbled by the continued confidence that investors have shown us, especially in times of geopolitical uncertainty and market turmoil. The funding allows us to increase our investments in our project pipeline, technology platform, organisation and upscaling capabilities. Further, it will enable Bactolife to accelerate our partnering efforts with world-leading companies and commercialise our first product concepts for humans and animals.”  

Julian Zachmann, Investment Manager at ATHOS, stated: “Infectious diseases and increasing antimicrobial resistance are amongst the biggest threats to global health and development. We are committed to addressing this challenge and believe in Bactolife’s targeted solutions.”

Globally, there are more than 1.6 billion cases of diarrheal diseases annually which at best means stomach upsets. At worst, they can lead to life-threatening illnesses. Annual healthcare costs are increasing, and there are limited options to avoid disease manifestation in the first place. It is estimated that 760,000 children die annually from gut infections, and in those who survive, both infections later in life and growth stunts are observed. Today, most infections are treated with antibiotics that are either highly expensive or contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Bactolife takes a unique approach to gut health for the greater good of humans and animals by developing Binding Proteins™ that can reduce the risk of developing gut health infections, thereby reducing the need for antibiotics, at an affordable price point.

Aleks Engel, Partner, Novo Holdings, said: Aleks Engel, Partner, Novo Holdings, said: “The successful Series A is another validation of Bactolife’s impressive achievements and opportunity for the future. Bactolife is a great example of the strong Danish biotech ecosystem, as its technology platform originates from a Danish University, and was then further enabled by pioneering Danish biotech companies and talents. This bodes well for the future of not only Bactolife, but the Danish biotech sector as a whole. Further, I am very pleased that the international investors share our enthusiasm for finding solutions to the global AMR crisis. Combatting antimicrobial resistance requires all hands on deck.” 

About Bactolife A/S

Bactolife is a Danish industrial biotech company with approx. 40 employees. Bactolife uses its proprietary Binding Protein technology to develop novel biological solutions, strengthening the gut microbiome and helping solve the daunting challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) development, as well as the general burden of infectious diseases. Its proprietary platform consists of a technology for selecting and producing Binding Proteins that acts on toxins without targeting growth or killing the bacteria directly. The company is developing and will market ingredients for Mothers & Children, Elderly, Immunodeficient, Travelers & Deployed and Animal Health. The company has proof of concept (PoC) of its technology among others from testing its most advanced animal health product, Ablacto+ that stabilizes the gut of piglets and reduce the severity of post weaning diarrhea (PWD), in more than 6,000 piglets. Bactolife is among others backed by Novo Holdings, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and now also a leading Central European life science investor.

Binding Proteins™ are milk-homologous proteins designed to bind to the toxins from gastrointestinal pathogens. Binding Proteins™ are produced in large scale using state-of-the-art biomanufacturing, making them broadly applicable as part of a normal diet. Binding Proteins™ represent a new paradigm within precision gut microbiome by bringing together state of the art protein science with an affordable, broadly applicable, food and feed product registration.  

www.bactolife.com

About ATHOS

ATHOS is a Munich based single family office. ATHOS with its heritage in healthcare and life sciences invests in teams with exceptional science expertise, and technology-driven companies with an entrepreneurial and value-based approach.

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman, under the direction of Co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates and the board of trustees.

About Novo Holdings A/S

Novo Holdings is a holding and investment company that is responsible for managing the assets and the wealth of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The purpose of Novo Holdings is to improve people’s health and the sustainability of society and the planet by generating attractive long-term returns on the assets of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Novo Holdings is the controlling shareholder of Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S and manages an investment portfolio with a long-term return perspective. In addition to managing a broad portfolio of equities, bonds, real estate, infrastructure and private equity assets, Novo Holdings is a world-leading life sciences investor. Through its Seeds, Venture, Growth, and Principal Investments teams, Novo Holdings invests in life science companies at all stages of development. As of year-end 2022, Novo Holdings had total assets of EUR 108 billion.

www.novoholdings.dk

About the Novo Nordisk Foundation

Established in Denmark in 1924, the Novo Nordisk Foundation is an enterprise foundation with philanthropic objectives. The vision of the Foundation is to improve people’s health and the sustainability of society and the planet. The Foundation’s mission is to progress research and innovation in the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic and infectious diseases as well as to advance knowledge and solutions to support a green transformation of society.

www.novonordiskfonden.dk/en

View original content:https://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/bactolife-raises-eur-30-million-in-series-a-financing-301894859.html

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China Targets Crypto Crimes in Metaverse & Blockchain

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The Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) of China is targeting cybercriminals using blockchain and metaverse platforms for illegal activities amid rising online fraud and personal data infringement.

Deputy prosecutor-general Ge Xiaoyan reported a 64% year-on-year increase in cybercrime-related telecom fraud charges. While blockchain crimes are rising, traditional offenses like gambling and counterfeiting have also expanded into cyberspace. Charges for internet theft rose 23% while online counterfeiting surged 86%.

Between January and November, prosecutors pressed charges against 280,000 individuals in cybercrime cases, up 36% versus last year and constituting 19% of all criminal offenses.

Zhang Xiaojin, director of the SPP’s Fourth Procuratorate, warned citizens about investment scams in crypto, noting the rise of crimes using metaverse, blockchain, and binary options platforms. He said digital currencies have become hotspots for illicit activities.

China’s crackdown on crypto crimes differs from Hong Kong’s crypto-friendly regulations that aim to protect investors without stifling innovation. The People’s Bank of China stressed the need for coordinated global crypto regulation in its latest report.

In 2021, China officially banned crypto transactions and mining but remains a major mining hub despite the crackdown. The SPP aims to strengthen inter-departmental coordination in curtailing crypto adoption and cybercrimes involving digital assets.

Source: Crypto Times

The post China Targets Crypto Crimes in Metaverse & Blockchain appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Crypto Headlines of the Week: ECB Slams Bitcoin, Nigeria Blocks Exchanges

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The European Central Bank (ECB) has once again lashed out at Bitcoin, claiming that the recent approval of spot BTC ETFs changes nothing.

The central bank’s officials said Bitcoin’s fair value is zero, and the latest boom will spark massive collateral damage.

They claimed Bitcoin falls short in generating cash flow or other value-based returns, making it a poor investment.

While the ECB’s skepticism towards Bitcoin is not new, Nigeria is also growing skeptical of digital assets and crypto exchanges.

In an effort to crack down on currency speculation while the naira tumbles to record lows, Nigeria has ordered telecom companies to restrict consumer access to the websites of companies like Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken.

Here are this week’s important crypto stories:

ECB Slams Bitcoin Again
The European Central Bank (ECB) has reiterated its position on Bitcoin, stating that the approval of spot ETFs for the cryptocurrency does not change its unsuitability as a means of payment or investment.

“We disagree with both claims and reiterate that the fair value of Bitcoin is still zero,” the central bank wrote.

ETF approval for Bitcoin – the naked emperor’s new clothes (ECB Blog)

Kraken Files to Dismiss SEC Lawsuit
Crypto exchange Kraken has filed a motion to dismiss a November lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission that accuses the firm of failing to register with the agency and commingling customer funds. The exchange contended that the SEC’s enforcement action came as retaliation for political speech.

Kraken moves to dismiss SEC lawsuit, citing retaliation from ‘a politically compromised agency’ (Fortune)

Nigeria Blocks Major Crypto Exchanges
Authorities in Nigeria have blocked access to some of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges as the government tries to crack down on currency speculation while the naira tumbles to record lows.

On Wednesday, the country’s telecom regulator ordered telecom companies to restrict consumer access to the websites of companies like Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken.

Nigeria blocks access to crypto exchanges in an effort to curb currency slide (The Financial Times)

FTX Cleared to Sell Stake in AI Startup
A US judge has ruled that bankrupt crypto exchange FTX may sell its shares in artificial intelligence startup Anthropic.

US Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey in Wilmington, Delaware, approved FTX’s proposal to sell the shares after FTX reached a compromise in court with a group of FTX customers that had opposed the sale.

Crypto exchange FTX to sell shares in AI startup Anthropic (Reuters)

Jack Dorsey’s Block Gains Big From Bitcoin Bet
Fintech company Block has reported a remeasurement gain of $207 million on its Bitcoin holdings. As of December 31, 2023, Block held approximately 8,038 BTC for investment purposes with a fair value of $340 million.

The Jack Dorsey-owned company made $66 million in gross profit on bitcoin sales last quarter through Cash App, a banking services platform, representing a 90% increase year over year.

Jack Dorsey’s Block Is Sitting on $207M Gain on Its Bitcoin Bet (CoinDesk)

Reddit Now Holds Bitcoin
Social media platform Reddit has revealed investments in Bitcoin and Ethereum using some of its excess cash reserves. This was included in the SEC filings as part of its preparations for the company’s initial public offering (IPO).

Still, the exact amount invested in these leading cryptocurrencies remains undisclosed.

Reddit says it invested ‘excess cash reserves’ in Bitcoin, ether (Blockworks)

Crypto Super PAC Continues to Raise Funds
Crypto-friendly super PAC Fairshake received $6.8 million in funding last month, including $4.9 million from Gemini co-founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Fairshake has quickly become one of the most popular super PACs for crypto-friendly donors this election cycle.

Crypto Super PAC Fairshake Raised $6.8 Million From Winklevoss Twins and VCs in January (Decrypt)

Major ETF Issuers Talk About Crypto in Miami Conference
The discussion on the spot Bitcoin ETFs was the most well-attended panel of the entire Exchange ETF Conference in Miami Beach, Florida, so much so that the staff ran out of the headphones attendees were provided with to listen to the speakers.

Crypto no longer outsider at famed Miami Beach ETF conference (Fox Business)

Retail Investors Were Behind Recent Crypto Rally
Retail investors were likely responsible for the strong crypto market rally in February, JPMorgan said in a recent research report.

The bank said that the anticipation of “the bitcoin halving event, the next major upgrade of the Ethereum network, and the prospect of approval of spot ether ETFs by the SEC in May” attracted retail participation.

JPMorgan Sees Retail Traders Jump Back Into Crypto Markets in February (Bloomberg)

South Korean Province Collects $4.6M in Crypto Tax
South Korea’s most populated province, Gyeonggi, has collected $4.6 million from crypto tax evaders. Using a new system, the province found 5,910 people who owed more than $2262 each. The $4.6 million collected so far has been from only 2,390 people last year.

South Korean province implements digital system to track tax evaders’ crypto (Cointelegraph)

The Bottom Line
The ECB has reiterated its critical stance on Bitcoin, despite the recent approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs, maintaining that Bitcoin’s intrinsic value remains at zero. Meanwhile, Nigeria is taking steps to limit cryptocurrency engagement amid concerns over financial stability.

Source: Techopedia

The post Crypto Headlines of the Week: ECB Slams Bitcoin, Nigeria Blocks Exchanges appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Bolstering Native Food Markets Through Blockchain

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The Allan Labor Government is helping to bolster the native foods industry by supporting Traditional Owners with new options to track and sell native foods through blockchain.

Around 70 native foods business practitioners attended the inaugural First Nations Native Food Blockchain Workshop at Healesville last week.

The workshop was delivered by the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub in partnership with Agriculture Victoria and the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owners Corporation (FVTOC).

Over two days, the workshop explored the potential for blockchain technology to support positive outcomes for Victorian Aboriginal native food businesses. The workshop also focused on ways in which blockchain can support and uphold Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property rights for Victorian Traditional Owners.

Blockchain technology offers new abilities for data management and governance by enabling decentralised and tamper-resistant storage. It enables new and unique ways to further enable Aboriginal self-determination and data sovereignty for First Nations people within the native foods and botanicals industry.

The technology also offers a secure and transparent system for tracking product authenticity, with the ability to store and manage traditional knowledge and stories.

This workshop aligns with the objectives of the Traditional Owner Native Food and Botanicals Strategy, developed by the FVTOC and the Victorian Government in 2021, which laid out a plan to create a strong, authentic and sustainable bushfood sector.

Quote attributable to Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence

“This workshop provides more ways to help ensure Victorian Aboriginal native food businesses are equipped with the skills and technology they need to thrive.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Treaty and First Peoples Natalie Hutchins

“This is a great example of Aboriginal businesses coming together to drive a strong and sustainable native food industry and promote economic development.”

Quotes attributable to Gunditjmara Elder Professor Richard J Franklin

‘Blockchain unveils promising pathways for Aboriginal data sovereignty and community empowerment, crucial for uplifting our communities and ensuring improved outcomes.” “I am enthusiastic about the possibilities that blockchain holds, particularly within the native food and botanicals industry. Technology must be one of the many spearpoints we use in charting toward a tomorrow Australia.”

The post Bolstering Native Food Markets Through Blockchain appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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