How investors evaluate the AMR sector?
We spoke with Aleks Engel from the Novo Holdings Repair Impact Fund, one of the speakers at the AMR Conference 2021, about the current investment climate for the AMR space.
Novo Holdings Repair Impact Fund
From an investor’s perspective, how do you perceive the situation for companies with AMR-related activities? How did the investment climate develop over the past year?
Aleks Engel: If you are looking at the pure facts and figures, the Investment climate for traditional antibiotics is unchanged from last year and is still difficult. On the positive side, we still have publicly and partially privately supported push funding, such as CARB-X, the IMI AMR Accelerator, BARDA, JPI AMR, NIAID, DTRA and GARDP. The biggest news from the last year was the launch of the AMR Action Fund, which will make a big impact over the coming year.
Did the pandemic chang something in that respect? Is the AMR field or the area of infectious diseases evaluated differently than before by investors?
Aleks Engel: Indeed, interest in the field has improved and particularly vaccines have found investments. For example, one of our portfolio companies Minervax attracted a €47m series B financing round in Dec 2020 and is just one example of 22 vaccine companies raising venture money last year.
What are the most attractive areas you are currently looking for? Did you select your candidates from the 2021 global call of the Novo Repair Investment Fund?
Aleks Engel: We did not yet select new candidates. Regarding attractive areas: Some new modalities (LBT, RNAi, phages) are only now beginning to deliver sufficiently strong data to be “investment grade”.
When do we can expect first investment activities of the AMR Action Fund?
Aleks Engel: I think, we will see them by the end of year 2021.