Procarta announces €1.5 million investment for new class of antibiotics to combat antimicrobial resistance
Stevenage, UK, 5th March 2019 / Sciad Newswire / Procarta Biosystems, a privately held UK-based biotech company, today announced €1.5m of new funding from the Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund to support development of novel therapies to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The new funding will be used to develop a pipeline of an entirely new class of antibiotic precision medicines from Procarta’s proprietary oligonucleotide-based antimicrobial platform.
Procarta’s lead asset, PRO-202, is in preclinical development to treat complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) and complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI). The ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species) are responsible for a significant proportion of cUTIs and cIAIs throughout the world. Moreover, ESKAPE pathogens represent the greatest risk of antibiotic resistance of all clinical infections. Of particular note are the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a sub-group of Gram-negative bacteria, e.g. Escherichia coli and Klebsiella species, which are resistant to the carbapenem class of antimicrobials. CRE are often considered as the worst new “superbugs” as these bacteria can kill up to half of the patients who develop bloodstream infections from these pathogens. Worryingly, carbapenem resistance is growing exponentially – resistant Klebsiella rose from 0.6% to 5.4% between 2004 and 2008 in the US, and in Thailand 70% of Pseudomonas infections are carbapenem resistant.
Dr Andrew Lightfoot, PhD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of Procarta, commented “The REPAIR investment comes in alongside investment from Procarta’s founding investor the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S), as well as Wren Capital, Meltwind and Development Bank Wales. The money will be used to progress our lead asset, PRO-202 and to develop our proprietary drug discovery platform to build a pipeline of antimicrobial agents to cover the ESKAPE pathogens.
“If the industry keeps prosecuting the same antibiotic drug targets, we will get the same answers, i.e. growing antimicrobial resistance. At Procarta, we believe it is time to explore novel modalities and targets to precipitate a paradigm shift in antimicrobial research. We are delighted that the REPAIR Impact Fund shares our vision and recognises the potential of Procarta’s novel approach.”
Aleks Engel, PhD, Director of the REPAIR Impact Fund, commented “Procarta’s transcription factor decoy platform is precisely the type of novel modality that we hoped we would find when we launched the fund a year ago. We see the technology as having immense potential as the basis for new approaches to new therapeutics development in infectious disease and beyond.”
For further information, contact:
Dr Andrew Lightfoot, Chief Executive Officer
T: +44 (0)1603 456500
Richard Anderson / Juliette Craggs
Sciad Communications Ltd
T: +44 (0)20 7470 8801
Notes to Editors
Procarta Biosystems is a UK based biotech company, developing a pipeline of antibacterial agents discovered using its proprietary Oligonucleotide Antimicrobial Discovery platform. The Company’s approach is to selectively deliver oligonucleotides to the cytoplasm of bacterial cells using its patented delivery system. The oligonucleotides are designed to inhibit a previously untapped set of antimicrobial targets, transcription factors, which leads to a precisely controlled spectrum of activity. The lead asset, PRO-202, targeting CRE bacteria, is in preclinical development to treat complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) and complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI). Further information can be found at www.Procartabio.com.
About REPAIR Impact Fund
The REPAIR Impact Fund, commissioned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and operated by Novo Holdings, will invest in start-ups, early-stage companies and corporate spin-outs in Europe and the United States. It will give priority to first-in-class therapies, covering small molecules, biologics and new modalities, from the early stage of drug development (lead optimization) to the early stages of clinical development (Phase 1). It can invest as the sole investor or in a syndicate, with investments ranging from USD 1 million to USD 15 million. The projects will be selected through an investment process with support of a highly qualified Scientific Selection Board, comprising 10 world-class experts. For more information about members of the Scientific Selection Board, see www.repair-impact-fund.com/people.