Biotech Receives EUR 1.5 Million in Funding to Develop a New Class of Antibiotics

March 8, 2019
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

Procarta Biosystems has received investment from Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund to the tune of €1.5 million, which will be used to develop a new class of antibiotics to tackle AMR.

Procarta Biosystems, a UK-based privately-held biotech, has received investment from Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund to the tune of €1.5 million, which will be used to develop a new class of antibiotics to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

With the investment funds, Procarta will develop a pipeline of new antibiotic precision medicines from its proprietary oligonucleotide-based antimicrobial platform. The company’s lead asset, PRO-202, is currently in preclinical development for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) and complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI).

“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,” commented Dr Andrew Lightfoot, PhD, MBA, chief executive officer of Procarta, in a Mar. 5, 2019 press release. “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.”

ESKAPE pathogens are responsible for a large proportion of cUTIs and cIAIs globally and represent significant risk of antibiotic resistance. A particular group from the ESKAPE pathogen family that are causing concern are the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a sub-group of Gram-negative bacteria, which are resistant to the carbapenem class of antimicrobials. 

“If the industry keeps prosecuting the same antibiotic drug targets, we will get the same answers (i.e., growing antimicrobial resistance),” added Lightfoot. “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, said, “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.”

Source: Procarta Biosystems