Pulmocide has raised €28.25M ($30.4M) in Series B that will let the company progress its candidates for respiratory infections through early clinical trials.
Pulmocide, based in London, is developing inhaled drugs to treat respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Aspergillus infections in the lungs. Its technology led top investors SV Life Sciences, F-Prime Capital, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Touchstone Innovations to return for a second round, along with new participants including SR One, which led this round.
The funds will be used to progress Pulmocide’s two leading programs, both still in the preclinical stage. The first is PC786, an antiviral for RSV infections in adults and infants currently in proof of concept studies. The second is PC945, an antifungal compound against Aspergillus infections in patients with cystic fibrosis and recipients of lung transplants.
Pulmocide focuses on developing drugs for inhaled delivery, a method that facilitates local delivery of the drug, which reduces the dose needed and therefore side effects as well.
There seems to be plenty of interest in biotech and pharma for pulmonary infections since they affect large patient populations and have high mortality. RSV causes over 30 million new infections in children under five each year, while Aspergillus infects around 4.8 million patients with cystic fibrosis worldwide.
The RSV space is particularly competitive, with European biotechs such as Regeneron, MedImmune and Ablynx developing drugs to fight it. Compared to these companies, all of them in late clinical development stages for RSV, Pulmocide is still far from the market. However, its technology has managed to attract a line-up of top investors.
“Pulmocide’s core asset is the management team’s proprietary expertise in the design of highly potent compounds with extended lung retention time and limited systemic exposure,” remarked Matthew Foy, Partner at SR One. “This has enabled the development of two anti-infective drugs for serious diseases of the lung, where an inhaled therapy should deliver the optimal clinical outcome.”
Images from Tinydevil /Shutterstock; Pulmocide