Parisian MIT spinoff pulls in €2M to fund CRISPR delivery work

Eligo CEO Xavier Duportet

Paris-based Eligo Bioscience pulled in €2 million in first-round financing to fund its ongoing efforts to target bacterial infections while sparing the healthy cells nearby. The technology is based on the booming CRISPR gene editing model, and the company is developing two lead candidates.

Eligo spun off from MIT and New York's Rockefeller University and collected its first funding round from Seventure, a European financing institution, leading the investment.

Eligo's delivery technology is based on nano-sized vectors based on proteins, and they have a synthetic circuit that encodes for an RNA-guided nuclease, according to the company. With the targeted approach, the Eligobiotics, as they're called, can attack bacteria while leaving the healthy cells out of the crosshairs. There are many beneficial bacteria in the human microbiome, and the genes delivered by Eligobiotics cause the offending bacteria to compete with one another, giving the beneficial ones a chance to thrive.

"We are really excited since this is the first time we have a tool to edit the microbiome with such specificity," Eligo CEO Xavier Duportet said in a statement. "This investment will not only help us develop two lead candidates but also to develop our microbiome editing platform to go beyond the treatment of infectious disease."

"In the ongoing microbiome revolution," Seventure CEO Isabelle de Cremoux said, "where the interactions between health and bacteria are proved crucial, Eligo's approach is a major shift forward being able to target even resistant bacteria with this precision. This is a very exciting area of medicine."

- here's the release