Absynth Biologics secures funding to develop MRSA vaccine

Published: 19-Jul-2013

Novel antigens offer broad potential against a range of bacterial infections and form the basis of the company’s pipeline

Absynth Biologics, a UK biotechnology spinout company from the University of Sheffield, has secured £850,000 in funding from new and existing investors.

Part of the portfolio of Fusion IP, the university commercialisation company that turns world-class research into business, Absynth has developed a distinctive, non-conventional approach to developing vaccines and therapeutic antibodies based on identifying novel, conserved bacterial antigens that are essential and also antibody-accessible.

Lead programmes undertaken by Absynth target Staphylococcus aureus, including its drug-resistant form MRSA, against which vaccines and antibodies of other companies have failed to show clinical efficacy; Absynth believes its approach has the potential to succeed where others have previously failed.

Absynth’s novel antigens offer broad potential against a range of bacterial infections and form the basis of the company’s pipeline that includes vaccines to prevent Clostridium difficile and Streptococcus pyogenes infections. Absynth will use the investment to advance the Staphylococcus aureus programme to key pre-clinical milestones.

The investment will also complement funding secured from the Biomedical Catalyst – a funding stream administered by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) – to further develop Absynth’s product pipeline. This brings the total awarded to Absynth since 2012 to £175,000 in two grants from the TSB.

The North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by SPARK Impact, is investing £400,000 and Fusion IP is investing £450,000. Post–funding, Fusion will own a 42.84% equity shareholding in Absynth. The North West Fund for Biomedical is part of the wider £155m North West Fund, financed jointly by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

‘I am delighted to have the support of our new investor The North West Fund for Biomedical and the ongoing support of our existing shareholder Fusion IP,’ said Fiona Marston, Chief Executive of Absynth Biologics. ‘This investment will fund exciting stages of development for Absynth’s S. aureus vaccine and pipeline R&D programmes.’

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