Second financing for BioVersys from CARB-X

Second financing for BioVersys from CARB-X

  • 01/06/2021

CARB-X is awarding BioVersys, a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, up to US$4.35 million in non-dilutive funding, to develop a new class of antibiotics to treat life-threatening infections caused by ESKAPE pathogens, bacteria that have developed resistance to most antibiotics available today. BioVersys could receive up to $10.98 million in additional funds from CARB-X if the project achieves certain milestones, subject to available funds. It’s the second CARB-X funding which BioVersys has received. The new funding adds up to the recent financing by the European Investment bank which the company announced in mid-April.

ESKAPE is an acronym for some of the world’s most dangerous bacterial pathogens. These pathogens (Enterococcus faeciumStaphylococcus aureusKlebsiella pneumoniaeAcinetobacter baumanniiPseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter species) are common causes of death and of life-threatening infections, especially among immune-compromised patients, patients on ventilators in hospital and health-care settings, and infants and young children in low- and middle-income countries.

“This funding from CARB-X aims to speed the development of an exciting new class of antibiotics to treat patients with life-threatening infections and to enhance global health security,” said Erin Duffy, R&D Chief of CARB-X, a non-profit global partnership led by Boston University and dedicated to supporting the development of innovative therapeutics, preventatives and diagnostics to address antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. “There has been a dire shortage of antibacterial innovation over the past half century and it is vital to accelerate the development of new approaches to address the spread of drug resistance.”

BioVersys’ pyrrolocytosines (BV300) represent a novel class of small molecules that target the ribosome, a validated antibacterial target and important part of the bacteria’s defense mechanism, but on a yet unexploited binding site. In preclinical testing, these molecules exhibit a robust coverage of all relevant Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, as well as other bacteria on the priority and urgent-threat lists of pathogens published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CARB-X funding will help support BioVersys’ Lead Optimization program to develop this compound class for difficult-to-treat severe infections, including pneumonia.

Dr. Sergio Lociuro, CSO of BioVersys: “We are pleased to receive this award from CARB-X and continue the discovery and development of new pyrrolocytosine antibiotics. Novel classes of broad-spectrum antibiotics with demonstrated in vitro and in vivo activity against all ESKAPE clinical isolates are like rare gems. We are excited to tackle the challenges of developing this totally new chemical class, potentially providing the first truly broadly active new class of antibiotics since decades.”

Dr. Marc Gitzinger, CEO and founder of BioVersys: “We are grateful to CARB-X for their continued trust in the BioVersys team to develop innovation in the field of AMR and expand our already successful collaboration. The CARB-X award for BV300 is the second project funded by CARB-X that is being developed at BioVersys. This is a further validation of our high-quality science, strong team and commitment to developing novel AMR therapies for patients with unmet medical needs.”

BioVersys acquired the pyrrolocytosine molecules from Melinta Therapeutics, which had received funding from CARB-X in 2018 to support the project. BV300 is the second BioVersys project funded by CARB-X; the first award was for the development of new drugs to disarm Staphylococcus aureus bacteria of virulence factors that can cause serious skin infections and can spread to muscles, lungs and other body parts. The molecules from the BV200 project are being developed as a stand-alone therapy and for use
in combination with existing antibiotics.

More information can be found here: