F2G has raised €53M to advance its news class of treatments for life-threatening fungal infections, including invasive aspergillosis. The technology has attracted some of the major biotech investors in Europe.

f2g_antifungals_F901318_fundraising_aspergillosisBased in Manchester (UK), F2G focuses on developing therapies for invasive fungal infections such as aspergillosis.

This type of infections mostly affect patients that are immuno-compromised. As more and more people undergo treatments for cancer, organ transplants and take other aggressive medication that affects the immune system, there’s a big need for antifungals (as well as some innovative diagnosis).

aspergilloma_fungal_infections_antifungal_f2g

Lung tissue affected by aspergilloma, growing in a fungus ball on the left. (CC 2.0 Yale Rosen)

The problem is that there isn’t much choice when it comes to these therapies. Most of the infections with Candida and Aspergillus are treated with azoles (a class of antifungals). However, resistance to azoles is rapidly increasing, a big problem in infectious diseases.

F2G has discovered a new class of antifungals (orotomides). This class is effective against pathogenic moulds, including resistant ones due to its novel mechanism of action.

While I couldn’t find more information on what exactly orotomides do to the fungi, the science must have convinced big names in investing, from well-known VCs to investment arms of major biotechs.

antifungals_mechanisms_of_action_azoles_resistance

Fig. 1: Mechanisms of action of some antifungals.

F2G has now raised €53M ($60M) in a round led by Sectoral Assessment Management, a Canadian healthcare investor. Other new investors are Brace Pharma Capital from the US (which also invested in ReViral) and Novo A/S (highly involved in innovation around Denmark).

Existing investors also participated in this round, including Merifin Capital (Belgium), Advent Life Sciences (UK), Sunstone Capital (the largest independent Scandinavian VC) and Novartis Venture Fund (we interviewed its managing director).

This new money will likely fund the development of F2G’s lead candidate (F901318), which is currently in Phase I trials. The expectation is that F901318 will reach Phase III trials in the first half of 2017, based on an accelerated regulatory review. F2G also plans to develop other early-stage candidates in its pipeline.


Feature Image Credit: Moldy Sandwich (CC 2.0 Psyberartist)
Figure 1 Credit: Ostrosky-Zeichner et al. (2010) An insight into the antifungal pipeline: selected new molecules and beyond. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery (doi: 10.1038/nrd3074)

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