News Release

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s IBD Ventures invests in developing novel therapies to address unmet needs of IBD patients

Ibd Ventures provides funding to three companies developing innovative IBD therapeutic products to improve patient outcomes

Grant and Award Announcement

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America

March 8, 2024, New York, NY – The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation announced that it has invested in three companies in the 2023 funding cycle of the IBD Ventures program. Aiming to accelerate the development of novel products, IBD Ventures directly invests in product-oriented research and development with the potential to improve remission rates and quality of life for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and affects 1 in 100 Americans. Only 5% of companies that apply for funding are selected, representing the Foundation’s commitment to investing in the most promising and innovative product modalities that clearly meet critical unmet patient needs, including but not restricted to novel therapeutics for IBD.


“IBD Ventures is excited to support these three companies, each pioneering transformative therapies that address critical unmet needs of IBD patients,” said Andrés Hurtado-Lorenzo, PhD, Senior Vice President of Translational Research and IBD Ventures, at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. “These therapeutics span across diverse modalities, including two groundbreaking ventures in the microbiome realm and one innovative small molecule pill for gut regeneration. Their collective impact holds immense promise for patients suffering from IBD.”


2023 IBD Ventures Investments Additions

Seres Therapeutics (USA) – Personalized Medicine Approach to Treat Ulcerative Colitis Using a Microbiome-Based Oral Pill  

Seres Therapeutics is developing a pill made of a consortium of gut bacteria for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. The funding will be used to identify and validate biomarkers that can help determine which patients might benefit the most from this treatment. Upon completion, Seres will begin a phase II clinical trial with this treatment, called SER-301, on ulcerative colitis patients selected using the identified biomarkers.


Allonix (Orange Grove Bio) (USA) – Small Molecule Oral Pill That Induces Natural Steroid Production in the Gut Cells of IBD Patients

The Foundation’s funding is backing the development of a first-in-class drug that targets a protein called liver receptor homologue-1 (LRH-1), which plays a role in keeping the gut healthy and balancing the immune system in the intestines. This drug binds to LRH-1 to stimulate local corticosteroid production in the gut cells, aiming to reduce intestinal inflammation and promote healing and regeneration of damaged gut tissue. The hypothesis is that with local corticosteroid production within the gut itself, as opposed to the global anti-inflammatory action of current drugs, side effects can be minimized while promoting gut healing and changing the course of the disease. The Foundation’s funding enables Allonix to conduct the essential work required to support FDA approval for the commencement of clinical trials.


Exeliom (France) – Oral Bacteria Therapy Pill for Patients With Mild-to-Moderate Crohn’s Disease to Help Them Stay in Remission and Avoid Switching to Stronger Medications

The Foundation is supporting Exeliom in creating a treatment for Crohn’s disease using a single species of bacteria called F. prausnitzii. The company has demonstrated in preclinical models that this treatment might help people stay in remission while under steroid treatment and avoid the need to move on to stronger medications like biologics. The funding provided by the Foundation will allow Exeliom to conduct and complete its first-in-human clinical trial.


Since 2017, IBD Ventures has invested in 30 companies and academic institutions to advance new product opportunities. The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation launched IBD Ventures to accelerate the discovery and development of research-based products with the potential to address the unmet needs of IBD patients. As a venture philanthropy program, IBD Ventures aims to advance products through the developmental pathway toward patient care by investing in novel early-stage products. The program funds, advises, and provides resources to for-profit companies worldwide, academic institutions, and other organizations seeking to develop products that can improve remission rates and quality of life for patients with IBD. For more information, visit IBD Ventures online.


About the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization focused on both research and patient support for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), with the mission of curing Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and improving the quality of life for the millions of Americans living with IBD. The Foundation’s work is dramatically accelerating the research process, while also providing extensive educational and support resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public. For more information, visit, call 888-694-8872, or email


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