Pherecydes Pharma, a Biocitech Science Park near Paris, France-based biotechnology company specialized in the research and development of anti-infective therapies based on the use of bacteriophages, raised €8.7M ($10.3M) in a Series B round of financing.
The round was led by Go Capital, with participation from Omnes Capital, Fa Dièse and a group of business angels from the Rhône-Alpes region and historical investors ACE Management, Auriga Partners and Participations Besançon. In conjunction with the funding, representatives from Go Capital and Omnes will soon join Pherecydes Pharma’s supervisory board.
The company intends to use the funds to produce phages for compassionate use (ATU or Temporary Authorization for Use) in accordance with GMP. Pherecydes will move two programs into the clinical phase in 2018 and 2019: PHOSA for the treatment of severe Staphylococcus aureus infections and PNEUMOPHAGE for the treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa respiratory tract infections. The financing will be used, as well, to set up a 10,000 square feet (approx 1,000M2) pharmaceutical production unit in Nantes.
In addition, new research programs will be launched in 2018 and 2019.
Led by Guy-Charles Fanneau de La Horie, CEO, and Jérôme Gabard, COO, Pherecydes is advancing an innovative therapeutic approach for the treatment of bacterial infections, particularly those acquired in hospitals – (HAI) and/or resistant to antibiotics. Phage therapy involves using lytic bacteriophage viruses (more commonly known as phages) to treat bacterial infections. This type of treatment was used on an informal basis throughout the world before the discovery of antibiotics. Today, both Georgia and Russia include phages in their pharmacopeias. Phages are also used in Poland in compassionate practice.
Overall, the startup has raised a total of €13.6M ($16.2M). This includes this round of financing, as well as €2.6M ($3.1M) raised in 2015 and €2.3M ($2.7M) raised since its creation in 2007. In addition to capital rounds, Pherecydes Pharma, which has twelve employees, also benefits from public funding from the Ministry of Defense (PneumoPhage project), the Single Inter-Ministry Fund (Phosa project) and the European FP7 grant for the Phagoburn project.