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Novo launches $165m antimicrobial resistance initiative

The REPAIR Fund will support groups looking to combat antibiotic resistance

Novo Nordisk

A new fund has been launched to help combat antimicrobial resistance by offering a total of $165m to companies involved in discovering early-stage development therapies.

The REPAIR fund is the brainchild of Novo Holdings, the major shareholder in the Novo Group companies and will focus on priority pathogens, which the World Health Organization (WHO) defines as a catalogue of 12 families of bacteria that pose a threat to human health.

More specifically, the fund will invest in start-ups, early-stage companies and corporate spin-outs, giving priority to first-in-class therapies covering small molecules, biologics and new modalities with investments ranging from $1-$15m.

It is also expected that the fund will grow up to $40m per year over the next three to five years from around 20 projects hosted in Europe and the US.

Kasim Kutay, chief executive officer of Novo Holdings, said: “We have established this impact fund to provide a fresh approach to a global healthcare challenge.

“With our scale, vision and capabilities, we are able to provide the essential strategic and financial support to these projects.”

According to Novo, more than 700,000 people die each year from infections resistant to most or all antibiotics, and by 2050 antimicrobial resistance is projected to end more lives than cancer.

Despite growing recognition of this issue, there is an early-stage funding gap for new treatments, specifically from lead optimisation up to phase I data and according to the Danish group, it says it is ‘uniquely positioned’ to meet this major unmet need.

Kutay adds: “We are looking to increase investments of this type in the coming years, and we are excited about our potential to make a significant difference in improving global healthcare.”

The first round of investments will start in April 2018 for European companies and Autumn for US-based companies.

Article by
Gemma Jones

2nd March 2018

From: Sales

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