Novo Holdings invests CHF 6.8 Million in Polyphor to accelerate the development of novel antibiotics against multi-drug resistant Gram-negative pathogens
- Novo REPAIR Impact Fund to invest up to CHF 11.5M in Polyphor’s antibiotic OMPTA pipeline through a CHF 6.8M equity investment, as well as a potential additional CHF 4.7M investment against program-specific royalties
- 178,947 new registered Polyphor shares issued from the authorized capital at CHF 38 per share
Polyphor and Novo Holdings A/S today announced that Polyphor has raised CHF 6.8M from the Novo REPAIR Impact Fund to accelerate the development of novel Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotics (OMPTA) addressing the deadliest and most resistant Gram-negative bacterial pathogens including those designated as a critical concern by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Novo Holdings A/S has committed to invest CHF 6.8M in Polyphor through a capital increase whereby 178,947 new registered shares will be issued at CHF 38 per share from authorized capital. These shares have a lock-up period ending May 15, 2019.
In addition, the fund has committed to make a project-based, royalty-bearing investment of CHF 4.7M in cash at the achievements of predefined milestones of the OMPTA program and customary closing conditions.
This is the first investment of the Novo REPAIR Impact Fund, which was established in February 2018 by Novo Holdings A/S as a separate area of business of the company. The Novo REPAIR Impact Fund is a USD 165M fund focused on investments in companies and projects aiming at combating antimicrobial resistance, particularly the priority pathogens defined by the CDC and the WHO.
The novel Polyphor OMPTA antibiotics target the highest priority Gram-negative ESKAPE pathogens, (Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter spp) which are the leading cause of severe and often deadly infections throughout the world, such as bloodstream infections and pneumonia. Importantly, this new class of antibiotics is active against strains, which have become resistant to most – and in some cases all – commonly used antibiotics including the “last resort” antibiotic colistin.
Aleks Engel, Director of the Novo REPAIR Impact Fund, commented: “We are proud to announce that our first investment is to accelerate development of a novel therapeutic class, which has the potential to save countless lives. Antimicrobial resistance is projected to kill more people than cancer by 2050, which shows the urgent need for new approaches targeting the most dangerous resistant bacteria.”
Giacomo Di Nepi, Chief Executive Officer of Polyphor, added: “The support of the Novo REPAIR Impact Fund will enable us to accelerate and further advance our preclinical candidates targeting resistant Gram-negative bacteria. In addition, it represents an important endorsement of our efforts in finding new antibiotics to combat drug resistance, which is one of the biggest threats to global health. We are honored that the Novo Repair Impact Fund selected our OMPTA program as their first investment and, in this context, by the entry of Novo Holdings A/S in our shareholders’ base.”
For further information please contact:
Chief Financial Officer
Tel: +41 61 567 16 67
Novo Holdings A/S
Christian Mostrup Scheel
Senior Press Officer
+45 3067 4805
 The so-called ESKAPE pathogens include most important bacterial pathogens, the Gram-negative, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter spp and the Gram-positive pathogens Enterococcus faecium and Staphilococcus aereus
Polyphor is a clinical stage, Swiss biopharmaceutical company which has discovered and is developing the OMPTA (Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotics). The OMPTA are potentially the first new class of antibiotics against Gram-negative bacteria to have reached phase III stage in the last 50 years. The company’s lead product, murepavadin, (POL7080) is in Phase III development against Pseudomonas aeruginosa – recognized as a critical priority 1 pathogen by WHO. Polyphor is also developing an immuno-oncology candidate, balixafortide (POL6326), which is in preparation for a pivotal trial program in combination with eribulin in patients with advanced breast cancer, and a pipeline of further preclinical antibiotics based on its OMPTA platform. Polyphor is based in Allschwil near Basel and is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX: POLN). For more information, please visit www.polyphor.com.
About Novo REPAIR Impact Fund
Novo Holdings established the REPAIR Impact Fund commissioned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation in February 2018 to invest in companies involved in discovering and the early-stage development of therapies targeting resistant microorganisms. The purpose of the REPAIR Impact Fund is to increase humanity’s therapeutic arsenal in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
REPAIR is an acronym: Replenishing and Enabling the Pipeline for Anti-Infective Resistance.