California-based Evolve BioSystems is making a probiotic nutritional supplement for infants to fight child malnutrition. Evolve’s basis for the product, called Evivo, is research that points to infant gut health as important to fighting disease and preventing allergies and type 1 diabetes. The product launched last year in the U.S. and has recently been approved for sale in Canada.
- Strategic investors… The Gates Foundation and Horizon Ventures, the venture investment arm of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing’s foundation, have backed Evolve’s Series C round to help the company expand Evivo sales globally and plan new products. Horizons Ventures also invested in the company’s Series A round in 2015.
- Back story… Evolve started in 2011 as a spinoff from the University of California, Davis’s Foods for Health Institute. It has raised $69 million in total to date.
- Neglected no more… The Gates Foundation has invested a few hundred million dollars in more than a dozen biotech companies, many focused on solutions for neglected diseases in the developing world.