Auspherix raises £6m to progress its novel antibiotics and establishes UK operation

Will be based on the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst and will shortly appoint a CEO

Auspherix Limited (UK), a developer of antibiotics, has raised £6m in a Series A venture financing, and is establishing operations on the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst site in the UK.

New investor Imperial Innovations, which invests in technology developed from academic research, led the funding alongside Australia's Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF), the founding investor.

The money raised will be used to fund the company’s drug discovery programme, expand the management team and recruit a microbiology team.

Auspherix aims to progress its novel class of antibacterials, which have a unique profile and novel mechanism of action, through lead optimisation to final candidate selection within the next two years. The company’s current lead compounds show activity against a broad range of multidrug resistant (MDR) Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial infections.

The company was co-founded in 2013 by Professor Ian Charles and Dr Dagmar Alber during their time together at the ithree institute, UTS, Sydney.

Dr Roberto Solari, an advisor to Imperial Innovations, has joined the Auspherix Board of Directors as its independent non-executive Chairman.

Previously, he was Vice President of GSK’s UK-based Respiratory Therapy Area, and is currently senior research fellow in the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, focusing on respiratory infections. Grant Hawthorne, an experienced biotech company director, has been appointed as COO.

'Auspherix’s novel chemistry has activity against a broad range of multidrug resistant (MDR) Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial infections and the initial pharmacokinetic profile of these compounds is consistent with their use as an antibacterial drug for a number of indications with high unmet need and large market potential,' said Dr Solari.

The company anticipates appointing a CEO within the coming months, and is building its Stevenage R&D team.