Backed by Google, Cambridge's Spero Nabs $51.7 Million Series C

Backed by Google, Cambridge's Spero Nabs $51.7 Million Series C March 8, 2017
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Spero Therapeutics just nabbed $51.7 million in its quest to develop antibiotics to combat drug-resistant.

The company was founded in 2014 to develop novel therapies to treat bacterial infections. Spero’s funding round was backed by a new investor, GV, which was formerly known as Google Ventures. Additional financing participants included new investors RA Capital Management and Rock Springs Capital, the company announced this morning. Existing investors include Atlas Venture, S.R. One, Limited, MRL Ventures Fund, Lundbeckfonden Ventures, The Kraft Group and Osage University Partners.

Spero said the funds will be used to advance its antibacterial pipeline. The funding will primarily enable the company to take its product SPR994 into the clinic and advance its Potentiator program into later stage clinical trials. SPR994 is a novel oral agent that has demonstrated potent invitro activity against a wide variety of gram-negative bacteria, including extended spectrum beta lactamases (ESBLs), and gram-positive bacteria, according to company data.

The Potentiator program, SPR741, is a platform approach to combination therapy to treat serious and life-threatening multi-drug resistant gram negative infections, such as Enterobacteriaceae and Acinetobacter baumanii, including carbapenem resistant strains. SPR741 increases the spectrum and potency of more than two dozen classes of gram positive antibiotics to include activity against multidrug resistant gram negative infections when used in combination, the company said. In December, the company initiated a Phase I trial for SPR741 to evaluate safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics.

"We are grateful for the continued strong support from our existing investors as we welcome new partners who share our vision for building a multi-program approach to the major unmet need in drug-resistant bacterial infections," Ankit Mahadevia, president and chief executive officer of Spero, said in a statement. "The financing provides us the necessary resources to execute our aggressive strategy to address this growing threat of multidrug-resistant bacteria, and we are proud to have earned the confidence of such well-respected partners in our efforts."

In January, Spero acquired a next generation set of antibacterial candidates from Pro Bono Bio Ltd. to bolster its pipeline addressing the increased prevalence of multi-drug resistant forms of Gram-negative bacteria.

In May 2016, the company acquired worldwide rights to VXc-486/VXc-100 and a portfolio of innovative antibacterial compounds targeted at bacterial gyrase (GyrB) and/or topoisomerase IV (ParE) from Vertex Pharmaceuticals .

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