MORRISVILLE – The Triangle biotech startup Gusto Global, which focuses on the microbiome and has developed a breakthrough therapy for treating Crohn’s disease, has raised nearly $2 million in new funding , according to a securities filing.

An SEC filing notes that the company closed $1.85 million from two investors.  The company had previously raised a fundraising round of $3 million in 2017, followed by $400,000 in 2019 and another $300,000 in 2021.

Gusto Global, which was founded in 2016, also received $250,000 in grant funding from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in 2021.

A Medium post from company cofounder Mark Spitzer, published in 2021, noted that the company’s origins come from “humble beginnings.”

Those beginnings?  According to Spitzer’s post: “A cancer survivor, two master microbiologists and the quest to better understand and design bacterial networks foundational to human health: the microbiome.”

New therapy developed by RTP biotech startup offers hope to sufferers of Crohn’s disease, colitis

Building on existing research

The company’s research appeared in Nature Communications and demonstrated that the firm’s live bacterial consortia “prevented and treated chronic immune-mediated colitis in humanized mouse models.”

At the time, the company anticipated it would bring its technology to clinical trials in human populations.

Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are forms of inflammatory bowel disease, which impacts more than 1.6 million Americans, according to the company.

But the company’s technology, comprised of 17 strains of bacteria which “work together to protect and feed each other,” was used in a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and demonstrated the bacteria consortia could prevent and treat colitis in mice.

Gusto Global notes that its “proprietary technologies and expertise drive our hypothesis-based, bottom-up approach to designing, engineering and manufacturing the live bacterial consortia needed to restore the missing core functionalities underlying dysbiosis.”

By doing so, the company website notes, “[w]e aim to achieve exceptional therapeutic efficacy by applying our strain-level mechanistic insights into gene function, network stability and metabolic interdependencies, along with our advanced modeling and AI capabilities.”

The company did not respond to a request for comment from WRAL TechWire.