Tech giants back startup Arsanis with $45.5M toward fighting infections
- Biotech startup Arsanis completed a $45.5 million Series D funding round led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Alphabet’s GV, formerly Google Ventures, also participated in the financing, the company said Wednesday.
- Arsanis, based in Waltham, MA, and Vienna, Austria, develops monoclonal antibodies aimed at preventing and treating serious infections.
- Proceeds from the round will go toward completing a Phase 2 study of Arsanis’ lead candidate, ASN100, for the prevention of Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia in high-risk mechanically ventilated patients.
Arsanis said it also plans to advance work on preclinical gram negative programs and a respiratory syncytial virus program. The company’s pipeline includes mAbs for multi-drug resistant E. coli and Klebsiella pneumonia and Streptococcus pneumoniae as well.
Gram negative bacteria and Strep pneumoniae are on the World Health Organization’s recently published, first-ever list of antibiotic-resistant “priority pathogens.” While hoping to spur R&D on new antibacterial agents, WHO also stressed the need for better prevention control and appropriate use of antibiotics.
Fears of a post-antibiotic world where deadly “superbugs” ravage hospital wards has led to antibiotic stewardship initiatives across the U.S.
Multinational technology companies are increasingly investing in healthcare. Since entering the wearables market in 2014, Microsoft has teamed with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to create care delivery products and partnered with TwistBioScience on DNA digital data storage, among other healthcare endeavors.
Google, IBM Watson, Samsung and Nokia are also vying for a piece of the healthcare pie.
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