BioVersys AG, a privately owned, multi-asset Swiss pharmaceutical company focusing on research and development of small molecules for multidrug-resistant bacterial infections with applications in Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and targeted microbiome modulation, announced today, USD 3.94 million in non-dilutive funding from CARB-X, with the possibility of USD 4.98 million more if certain project milestones are met.
BioVersys is developing new drugs designed to disarm bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus of its virulence determinants including toxins, that cause serious skin infections that can spread to muscles, lungs and other body parts. Molecules of the BV200 series have the potential to be used as stand-alone therapy as well as in combination with antibiotics, thus improving many available antibiotic therapies and supporting stewardship. The most advanced compounds are in Lead Optimization.
Dr. Marc Gitzinger, CEO and co-founder of BioVersys: “We are delighted that CARB-X recognizes the immense potential of BioVersys’ anti-virulence program (BV200) through this funding award. The diversity in the challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) diseases, requires us to broaden our approach beyond classical antibiotics, and further R&D investment in novel paradigm shifting approaches such as anti-virulence is vitally important. BioVersys is committed to continue its development of novel targeted antimicrobials and deliver new treatment options to AMR patients worldwide.”
Dr. Seng Chin Mah, Chairman of BioVersys: “BioVersys continues its innovative approach to generating high value medicines in the AMR space with an anti-virulence therapy. This CARB-X award is testimony to the fact that we not only need to develop new drugs but also to preserve existing ones. BV200 serves this dual purpose. We will continue to execute on our multi-asset corporate strategy to progress several much-needed therapies to clinical development in the coming years and eventually to patients with urgent unmet medical need. In doing so, we will also increase stakeholder value.”
Dr. Sergio Lociuro, CSO of BioVersys: “CARB-X funding of our BV200 series is a strong validation of BioVersys’ approach to drugging new targets such as bacterial transcription regulators, for generating highly novel therapies that can change the way we treat antimicrobial diseases in the future.“
The versatility of S. aureus to survive host immune responses and cause a diverse range of diseases has been attributed to its ability to express a comprehensive repertoire of virulence determinants including toxins. The BV200 series has been developed using the company’s Transcriptional Regulator Inhibitory Compounds technology and are not direct acting antibiotics, but rather a new class of molecule, capable of disarming bacteria of their arsenal of harmful virulence determinants. Molecules of the BV200 class inhibit the transcriptional regulator AgrA which controls the production of virulence determinants including -toxin, phenol-soluble-modulin (PSM) and Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) toxins that are directly linked to severity of S. aureus-mediated skin and skin structure infections (SSSI) and pneumonia (including MRSA). By preventing the expression of toxins, BV200 molecules have significant potential to reduce tissue damage, disease progression and, consequently, reduce infection severity and mortality rates in patients, irrespective of the resistance status of the pathogen.