Macrolide Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Watertown, Mass.) raised $20 million on Monday in a venture round led by existing investors Advent Life Sciences, Gurnet Point Capital, Novartis Venture Fund, Roche Ventures and SR One. The antibiotic company also hired Mahesh Karande as president and CEO. He was VP and general manager at Intarcia Therapeutics Inc. (Boston, Mass.).
Macrolide is using its synthetic chemistry platform to develop a pipeline of IV and oral macrolides from scratch with improved efficacy against drug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens than macrolides derived from natural products. The company said the funds will help support work towards an IND submission for its lead program, but did not disclose details.
In 2016, Macrolide co-founder and SAB Chairman Andrew Myers and his group at Harvard University published a paper in Nature showing how Macrolide's platform can generate a diverse library of macrolide compounds with activity against drug-resistant Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria using only a small lineup of relatively simple chemical structures (see BioCentury Innovations, June 9, 2016).
The biotech has an exclusive license to IP covering the synthesis process and macrolides from Harvard (see BioCentury, April 13, 2015).
Last month, Macrolide received a grant from the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) worth up to $6.8 million to develop a synthetic, orally available macrolide antibiotic to treat infections, including drug-resistant complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI). The grant includes a base investment of up to $2.4 million with options for the rest.
The company raised $22 million in a series A round in 2015.
Karande succeeds Macrolide co-founder Lawrence Miller. Miller is now CEO of Apnimed Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.).