Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund Invests USD 10 million in Curza and Spero
The Fund has now invested a total of USD 30 million in six companies
Copenhagen, Denmark, 23 July 2019 - Today, the Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund announced a USD 5.25 million investment in Curza, a small-molecule therapeutics company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, to accelerate its lead program, a new class of antibiotics focused on drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria.
"Curza is very excited to be working with Novo Holdings. Both companies have a strong commitment to bringing new antibiotics to the market to combat the growing threat of drug-resistant bacteria. Novo Holdings’ commitment to Curza allows the company to accelerate the development of a much-needed novel class of antibiotics,” said Ryan Davies, Curza’s Chief Executive Officer.
The REPAIR Impact Fund has also invested USD 5 million [plus potentially additional USD 5 million] in Spero Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SPRO), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Spero will advance its SPR720 program, an oral antibiotic being developed for the treatment of non-tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infections.
“Spero and Novo Holdings are both committed to addressing the growing, global problem of antibiotic resistance, and funding from this offering will provide additional capital to advance SPR720 and our robust pipeline of product candidates designed to combat antibiotic resistance,” said Ankit Mahadevia, Spero’s Chief Executive Officer.
The investments have been made following the REPAIR Impact Fund’s US/Canadian investment round targeting companies in North America developing novel anti-infectives, which opened in September 2018. The fund received 52 investment proposals which have been studied by the REPAIR Impact Fund’s Scientific Selection Board, narrowing the field down to a few selected companies suitable for investment.
Aleks Engel, Director of the REPAIR Impact Fund, commented: “From the many high-quality proposals targeting the deadliest resistant pathogens on the planet, we are delighted to have invested in two highly promising companies and programs. Both investments are made into two small molecule programs. We would have liked to see more new modalities; however, the best science wins. We are still considering one last project from the US/Canadian round and have already received nearly 40 new proposals from our second European round. We are very grateful for all of them.”
Since the launch of the REPAIR Impact Fund in early 2018, a total of USD 30 million has been invested in six companies developing innovative novel anti-infective therapies. The goal is to invest the EUR 135 (USD 165) million REPAIR Impact Fund, into 20 start-ups, early-stage companies and corporate spin-outs across Europe and North America involved in discovering and early-stage development of therapies to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
More than 700,000 people die each year from infections resistant to most or all antibiotics, and the number is increasing by the day. Such infections are projected to kill more people than cancer by 2050. Global economic output is expected to be reduced by between 2% and 3.5% and to severely cripple modern medical and surgical advances. For this reason, Novo Holdings created the REPAIR Impact Fund to confront this pending global medical catastrophe.