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Infectious Disease, Options Prevalent In 2014 Start-Up Dealmaking

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

The number of deals signed by biopharma start-ups increased 7% in 2014, which featured a bump in partnerships for infectious disease drugs and multiple option-to-acquire agreements.

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Spero Therapeutics LLC

Spero Therapeutics LLC was formed to develop antibiotics based on a novel mechanism, to treat infections with high unmet need. Its lead program, initiated in 2013, commercializes the research of Laurence Rahme of Mass General, who invented a method for using small molecules to inhibit MvfR, a transcription regulator utilized by gram-negative bacteria including Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella.

Antibiotics: Officially Encouraged, Increasingly Precise, Still Risky

Anti-infective start-ups getting funded these days say they can boost the odds of clinical success, and reduce the cost of achieving it. Profiles of EnBiotix, Nosopharm, and Spero Therapeutics.

F-star Alpha Ltd.

F-star Alpha Ltd., a UK-based start-up recently spun out of F-star Biotechnology Ltd., believes its method of making bispecific antibodies can produce powerful therapeutics that are also easy to manufacture. While the parent company says the spin-out is essentially a commercial vehicle meant to leverage the value of the parent company's technology platform, F-star Alpha is dedicated to developing bispecific antibodies and antibody fragments as cancer treatments.


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