Spero Therapeutics LLC, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biopharmaceutical company that focuses on treating bacterial infections, raised $30m in Series A funding.
The round was led by Lundbeckfond Ventures with participation from Merck Research Ventures, The Kraft Group, Atlas Venture, SR One and Partners Innovation Fund. In conjunction with the funding, Lundbeckfond Ventures’s Casper Breum and Merck’s Dr. Josh Resnick joined Spero’s board.
The company plans to use the proceeds to advance the Potentiator franchise into clinical development by 2016, progress its anti-virulence program in partnership with Roche through the submission of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application, and develop additional programs in its pipeline.
Led by Ankit Mahadevia, M.D., Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Spero Therapeutics develops novel therapies for the treatment of bacterial infections. The company’s potentiator program* aims to enhance existing drugs through an increase in their potency against multi-drug resistant gram-negative bacteria. Its MvfR inhibitor program targets a pathway involved in two critical bacterial processes: virulence and persistence.
*The Spero Potentiator program is a franchise of development candidate stage proprietary molecules designed for use in combination with existing anti-infectives agents. The outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria acts as a barrier to antibiotics, limiting access of antibacterial agents to their molecular targets. Potentiators interact with the Gram-negative outer membrane to enable access, and in combination, enable agents traditionally only used for Gram-positive infections such as macrolides to treat multi-drug resistant Gram-negative infections, and increase the potency of agents used for Gram-negatives such as meropenem.