Spero strikes $125M royalty deal for cUTI drug; French firm launches $100M early biotech fund
French investment firm Advent France Biotechnology (AFB) announced today the first closing of its second fund for a total of $102 million.
Investors and participants in AFB’s fund included the European Investment Fund (EIF) and the Fonds national d’amorçage 2 (the French Seed Fund 2), which is managed on behalf of the French State by Bpifrance. Other participants included corporate venture funds such as Boehringer Ingelheim’s venture fund.
This new fund will be dedicated to early-stage investments in European life sciences companies with a focus on France.
AFB will continue to work closely with European research institutions and with European venture capital partners to select and back entrepreneurs and early-stage companies with the potential to deliver first- or best-in-class therapeutics, the company said in a prepared statement.
The fund plans to select and finance two startups before the end of this year.
“We firmly believe that early-stage financing is critical for the life sciences industry, where the needs are huge and still not met, especially in France,” said AFB managing partner and chairman Alain Huriez in a statement. “This second fund shows the relevance of our positioning as entrepreneur-investors in life sciences, confirmed by the renewed support of our limited partners.”
Massachusetts biotech enters deal with investment firm for up to $125 million on cUTI drug
Spero Therapeutics is entering a revenue interest financing agreement with investment firm HealthCare Royalty Partners for up to $125 million for its complicated Urinary Tract Infection, or cUTI oral candidate.
Spero intends to use the proceeds from the agreement and existing cash on hand to prepare for the anticipated launch of oral cUTI candidate tebipenem HBr, also known as Tebi, according to a prepared statement.
As part of the agreement, Spero will receive $50 million from HealthCare Royalty Partners by Oct. 21. If the FDA approves Tebi for a cUTI indication, Spero will receive an additional $50 million, plus an additional $25 million upon an undisclosed commercial milestone.
In exchange for the potential $125 million, the investment firm will receive tiered royalty on applicable revenue generated by Tebi and other products marketed by Spero until the amount paid back to HealthCare Royalty Partners® is 2.5 times the total investment amount funded.
“We look forward to tebipenem HBr’s anticipated NDA filing and regulatory review, along with the advancement of Spero’s broader clinical-stage pipeline,” said HealthCare Royalty Partners chairman and CEO Clarke Futch in a statement.
Israel’s Genetika+ finished $10 million Series A for company expansion
Israeli biotech Genetika+ announced this morning that they closed a $10 million Series A VC round led by Boston-based GreyBird Ventures.
Other companies such as Meron Capital, Jumpspeed Ventures, and B Capital Group joined in on the round.
The biotech, which focuses on personalized treatments for neurological and psychiatric diseases, will focus its funding on expanding clinical trials, increasing manufacturing capabilities, and establishing a clinical lab in Boston, MA.
Novartis announces progress toward climate goals
Novartis shared progress against its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets at its eighth annual ESG investor event hosted today. More specifically, Novartis discussed the company’s more material ESG topics, including access to medicines, patient health and safety, innovation and ethical standards.
Some of the specific goals Novartis said the company targeted included reducing their carbon emissions by more than 28% since 2016, and pledging $20 million in collaboration with HBCUs to address health disparities in the US.
“ESG is central to the Novartis strategy and is critical to delivering on our purpose to reimagine medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. Coupled with our inspired, curious and unbossed culture, we believe ESG efforts on our most material topics will help drive our overall performance as a company and deliver long-term value for our stakeholders,” said Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan.
Ireland’s Iterum meets with FDA on resubmitting NDA for investigational uUTI candidate
Irish biotech Iterum Therapeutics said today in a statement that they held a Type A meeting with the FDA in Q3 2021 to discuss the steps required for potential resubmission of the New Drug Application (NDA) for their drug sulopenem etzadroxil/probenecid (oral sulopenem) for the treatment of uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections, or uUTI.
Back in July, Iterum received a Complete Response Letter from the FDA wanting more data to support the approval of oral sulopenem for the treatment of adult women with a uUTI.
“We had a successful meeting with the FDA and have established various potential paths forward to address the request in the CRL for additional data in support of our NDA,” said Iterum CEO Corey Fishman. “We are currently evaluating the optimal design for an additional Phase III uUTI study to be conducted prior to the potential resubmission of the NDA. We continue to believe in the ability of sulopenem to treat the growing problem of multi-drug resistant UTIs in the community.
Adaptive Phage Therapeutics receives $8 million more in bacteriophage development from DoD
Maryland biotech Adaptive Phage Therapeutics was awarded an additional $8 million from the US Department of Defense for continued development of their bacteriophage therapy PhageBank for the treatment of infectious diseases. The new funding brings the total contract awarded to APT to more than $31 million.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with the U.S. military to create potentially lifesaving therapies for our nation’s service members,” said APT CEO and co-founder Greg Merril in a prepared statement.
The biotech had closed a $40+ million Series B back in May for their work on bacteriophages against drug-resistant bacterial infections.