The AMR Action Fund, which is a public-private partnership investing in biotech companies developing antimicrobials, announced that it had invested in BioVersys AG.
The investment marks the first time that the organization has invested in a European company, as it looks to build out an international portfolio of companies working on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
AMR Action Fund participated in BioVersys’ Series C investment round that raised CHF 32.6m ($35m).
The biotech’s lead treatment candidate is BV100, which is being developed for lung and bloodstream infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB). According to the AMR Action Fund, CRAB infections kill approximately 100,000 people per year, with the mortality rate for such infections reaching 50%.
The WHO and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have both highlighted CRAB as one of the highest-priority pathogens for which new treatments are needed.
BioVersys stated the funds received from the AMR Action Fund will be used to support the clinical development of BV100. As part of the agreement between the two organizations, a member of AMR Action Fund will join BioVersys’ board of directors.
The next development step for the potential antibiotic is to enter Phase II trials, which the biotech stated would occur in the short-term. BV100 will be tested on patents with nosocomial pneumonia, including ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia, to assess the drug candidate’s potential safety and efficacy against CRAB.
Marc Gitzinger, CEO of BioVersys, stated that the additional funding for the biotech was particularly useful, as it looks to progress not only BV100 through clinical trials, but other assets in its pipeline.
BioVersys pipeline also includes BV200, which is being developed for patients who have severe hospital acquired staphylococcus aureus infections, and BV300, a broad spectrum antibiotics.
Further advanced is BVL-GSK098, which Gitzinger stated would be progressed into Phase II clinical trials with funds generated by its Series C financing round.
The potential treatment reverses resistance and potentiates the activity of two anti-tuberculosis drugs, ethionamide and prothionamide.
The biotech is working on the small molecule treatment alongside GSK. The latter company has recently made progress in building out its portfolio of antibiotic treatments. In September 2022, GSK bought a late-stage antibiotic for complicated urinary tract infections.
Towards the end of last year, GSK announced that two Phase III trials examining another antibiotic for urinary tract infections had been stopped early for efficacy. Gepotidacin has the potential to be the first new oral antibiotic treatment in 20 years, should it be approved.