- Investment from Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Evotec SE, and Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund
- Funding will support continued advancement of Centauri’s antimicrobial resistance research to identify novel therapeutic candidates using its proprietary Alphamer platform
- Appointment of Dr Johannes Zanzinger, Karen Lackey, Dr Camilla Petrycer Hansen to the Board of Directors
London, UK, 16 February 2022: Centauri Therapeutics Limited (Centauri), an immunotherapy company founded by Animatrix Founders LLP and focused on the treatment of infectious diseases, today announced the close of its £24 million GBP (c. 32 million USD) Series A investment round. The funds will support the continued advancement of the Company’s antimicrobial resistance (AMR) research and development, using the Alphamer® platform to identify and progress novel antibacterial candidates through first-in-human trials, for difficult-to-treat infections.
Centauri secured equity funding from Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Evotec SE, and Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund. Existing investors include founding investor Animatrix Founders LLP (via its company LAK Holdings LLP), as well as Kent Life Science LLP and Wren Capital.
Centauri is leveraging the Alphamer technology to introduce an innovative drug mechanism that recruits and directs pre-existing antibodies specifically to pathogens, engaging both innate and adaptive immunity to elicit an immune response that clears the infection. The continual emergence of AMR bacteria is resulting in increasingly difficult-to-treat infections, with an estimated 4.95 million global deaths associated with bacterial AMR in 20191. New modalities that can target these drug-resistant strains more effectively are urgently needed, and the Alphamer technology could help to broaden the anti-infective arsenal to reduce the global impact and improve patient outcomes.
Dr Mike Westby, Chief Scientific Officer, Centauri Therapeutics, commented: “This investment round is testament to the potential of the Alphamer technology and the progress made to date. The funding will underpin the progression of our AMR efforts, enabling us to identify novel antibacterial candidates and deliver improved treatments for life-threatening infections to the clinic. We will continue to engage with high-calibre investors and grow our team to accelerate these capabilities further.”
Dr Sebastian Kreuz, Investment Director, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, joining Centauri as Board Observer said: “The Alphamer technology is a highly innovative and, so far, an unprecedented concept based on the induction of pathogen-directed immune responses. Alongside our co-investors, we look forward to progressing Centauri’s lead programme targeting Gram-negative bacterial infections towards clinical validation, and to further broadening its Alphamer pipeline.”
Karen Lackey, Global Head of Integrated Drug Discovery, Evotec SE, added: “We are delighted to join Centauri as a new investor. AMR is an emerging global health threat and needs to be urgently addressed with novel, more effective treatments. Centauri’s approach, that leverages the Alphamer platform holds the potential to have a significant positive effect on patient outcomes across a range of infectious diseases.”
Dr Camilla Petrycer Hansen, Principal, Novo Holdings and REPAIR Impact Fund, said: “This is an exciting, non-traditional approach that could bring highly differentiated immunotherapies to patients. Centauri is the tenth investment from the REPAIR Impact Fund, and we are excited about the potential of the dual mode-of-action technology backed by an experienced team. We are looking forward to working together to bring new therapies to patients that urgently need them.”
Dr Johannes Zanzinger, Investment Director at Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Karen Lackey, Global Head of Integrated Drug Discovery at Evotec SE, and Dr Camilla Petrycer, Principal, Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund, join Centauri’s Board of Directors.
- Antimicrobial Resistance Collaborators, Global burden of bacterial antimicrobial resistance in 2019: a systematic analysis The Lancet (2022)
Notes to Editors
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Dr Michelle Ricketts
Tel: +44 (0) 7789 053 885
Dr Mike Westby
Chief Scientific Officer
About Centauri Therapeutics www.centauritherapeutics.com
Centauri Therapeutics is an immunotherapy company focused on infectious diseases. All projects harness a powerful and clinically validated immune mechanism which redirects naturally existing antibodies to treat life-threatening diseases. Centauri holds an exclusive worldwide license to exploit the Alphamer immunotherapeutics platform within the field of infectious diseases.
Follow Centauri on LinkedIn @Centauri Therapeutics Limited.
About Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund www.boehringer-ingelheim-venture.com
Created in 2010, the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund GmbH (BIVF) invests in ground-breaking therapeutics-focused biotechnology companies to drive innovation in biomedical research. BIVF is searching for significant enhancements in patient care through pioneering science and its clinical translation by building long-term relationships with scientists and entrepreneurs. BIVF’s focus is to target unprecedented therapeutic concepts addressing high medical needs in immuno-oncology, regenerative medicine, infectious diseases, and digital health. These may include novel platform technologies to address so far undruggable targets or new biological entities.
BIVF takes an active role with its portfolio companies – delivering significant added value through its own extensive drug discovery, scientific and managerial expertise. BIVF has a volume of EUR 300 million, is represented with offices in Europe (Germany), USA (Boston and San Francisco) and China (Beijing and Hong Kong) and currently supervises a portfolio of more than 40 companies.
About Evotec SE www.evotec.com
Evotec is a life science company with a unique business model that delivers on its mission to discover and develop highly effective therapeutics and make them available to the patients. The Company’s multimodality platform comprises a unique combination of innovative technologies, data, and science for the discovery, development, and production of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products. Evotec leverages this “Data-driven R&D Autobahn to Cures” for proprietary projects and within a network of partners including all Top 20 Pharma and over 800 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, as well as other healthcare stakeholders. Evotec has strategic activities in a broad range of currently underserved therapeutic areas, including e.g., neurology, oncology, as well as metabolic and infectious diseases. Within these areas of expertise, Evotec aims to create the world-leading co-owned pipeline for innovative therapeutics and has to-date established a portfolio of more than 200 proprietary and co-owned R&D projects from early discovery to clinical development.
Evotec operates globally with more than 4,000 highly qualified people. The Company’s 14 sites offer highly synergistic technologies and services and operate as complementary clusters of excellence.
About Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund www.repair-impact-fund.com
The Fund invests in novel therapeutics and vaccines targeting critical resistant pathogens. It focuses on early stage drug development (lead optimization) to the early stages of clinical development (Phase 1).
The investment projects are selected through an investment process with support of a highly qualified Scientific Selection Board, comprising 10 world-class experts. For more information about members of the Scientific Selection Board, see www.repair-impact-fund.com/people.
Novo Holdings A/S is a private limited liability company wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Novo Holdings is a leading international life science investor with a focus on creating long-term value. As a life science investor, Novo Holdings provides seed and venture capital to development-stage companies and takes significant ownership positions in growth and well-established companies. Further information: www.novoholdings.dk.
REPAIR is an acronym: Replenishing and Enabling the Pipeline for Anti-Infective Resistance.
The REPAIR Impact Fund is a Novo Holdings initiative.