Novel Antifungal Agent With Unique Mechanism Got $60 Million Push
UK based antifungal drug discovery and development company, F2G Ltd. raised $60 million funds for the development of a newly discovered antifungal agent-orotomides (F901318).
The fundraising was led by Sectoral Asset Management along with Novo A/S, Aisling Capital and Brace Pharma Capital. Existing investors included Advent Life Sciences LLP, Novartis Venture Fund, Sunstone Capital and Merifin Capital.
Orotomides is a novel class of antifungal agents that has been discovered and developed by F2G Ltd.. Orotomides have demonstrated activity against Aspergillus and other rare, unique and resistant moulds.
The resistance of the infections to the available therapies has emerged as a global problem.These newcomers in the league of antifungal agents act through a completely different mechanism than the existing ones.
Orotomides was discovered by whole cell screening of a small molecules chemical library against clinical fungal isolates. Further optimization through molecular design yielded a clinical stage analog, F901318. The target for this compound was identified as dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) enzyme, which play crucial role in pyrimidine biosynthesis.
Figure 1. Role of DHODH in mitochondrial bioenergetics and de novopyrimidine synthesis (Photo credit: Front Oncol. 2013 Apr 2;3:67. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2013.00067. eCollection 2013.).
Orotomides have also shown activity against the therapy-resistant fungal infections. F2G is planning to improve and advance F901318 to treat the invasive aspergillosis and other rare and serious mould infections. F901318 is being developed in both intravenous and oral formulations.
Figure 2. Aspergillus infection pathway (photo credit: www.aspergillus.org.uk/).
Aspergillosis is a serious pulmonary infection caused by Aspergillus, a common fungus ball that affects people with weak immune systems, the ones undergoing chemotherapies or the people suffering from lung diseases. It has no symptoms and can be detected only through a chest X-ray.
Ian Nicholson, the Chief Executive Officer of F2G Ltd, said that the company has made substantial growth in the past 12 months and the funding which was achieved in a tough financing environment, has clearly been able to show the investors’ confidence in the new class of therapies discovered and also the outstanding team. He further welcomed his new investors to the company and thanked the existing ones for their continued support and confidence in the team and its ideologies. To quote his words, he further added, “We are now well positioned to achieve our goal of product approval in an area with significant unmet medical need and look forward to conducting our pivotal registration study.”
“We have been impressed by the progress that F2G has made to date and are pleased to support its next phase of growth,” told Dr. Katabi.
She along with Dr. Martin Edwards, the Senior Partner at Novo A/S will be joining the F2G Board of Directors.
Featured image credit: The chonidial heads release hundreds of spores into the environment. © animaxx3d (Stock Photo ID: 80723072)