July 2, 2019
Since its founding, Spero has built strategic partnerships to advance its multi-asset, clinical-stage pipeline, raising approximately $44 million in committed non-dilutive funding since inception, with the potential to receive up to a total of $122 million in such funding, including potential milestone opportunities and full awards.
Our partners span the globe and include public agencies such as BARDA and DTRA for our lead compound SPR994; NIH, DoD, and CARB-X for our Potentiator Platform candidates SPR741 and SPR206; and pharmaceutical partners such as Everest Medicines to advance our Potentiator Platform in Asia. We are privileged to recently add two new strategic partners, the Bill and Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute (Gates MRI) and the Novo REPAIR Impact Fund (Novo), to support SPR720, our clinical-stage, first-in-class oral therapy for the treatment of lung infections caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTb).
SPR720 has exhibited potent, broad-spectrum antibacterial activity in in vitro and in vivo animal studies, including against NTM species and MTb. We presented SPR720’s promising in vitro and in vivo anti-NTM activity at the 2019 ASM Microbe meeting in San Francisco (Posters listed here), and our collaborators have previously published data demonstrating SPR720’s similar activity in MTb.
Our recently announced partnership with Gates MRI (details here) is expected to accelerate the development of SPR720 across indications, leverage Gates MRI’s significant expertise in MTb, and, subject to regulatory approval, help to facilitate access for MTb patients to SPR720 in low- and middle- income countries. Our recently announced alliance with the Novo REPAIR Impact Fund includes an equity investment of up to $10 million (details here) aimed at the advancement of SPR720 across indications. We appreciate the efforts of the scientific advisory teams at Gates MRI and Novo that reviewed our pipeline in depth; we see their work as validation of the clinical and commercial opportunity of SPR720 should our Phase I data, expected in the second half of 2019, prove supportive of further clinical development. We are equally excited to have the support and collaboration of both the Gates MRI team and the Novo REPAIR Scientific Advisory Board in advancing SPR720. Spero also appreciates Vertex’s role as the originator of SPR720.
Infections caused by NTM species and MTb share several elements in common – the most severe and common manifestations of both reside in the pulmonary space, both require chronic antimicrobial therapy, and both are underserved by currently approved therapies because of antimicrobial resistance and poor tolerability. These commonalities highlight meaningful overlap in the required development activities for SPR720 for both NTM and MTb. The Gates MRI collaboration will support these common activities, including toxicology, CMC, and other critical activities supporting future patient studies. The development overlap for these indications should benefit Spero and our focus on developing SPR720 for patients with NTM infections, and also allow us to expand the reach of SPR720 to potentially meet the major global health need for new options for the treatment of MTb infections.
Our mission at Spero is to build a leading organization to treat multiple unmet needs in infectious disease. We are proud to stand with our partners at the Bill and Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute, Novo REPAIR Impact Fund, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals in working to advance SPR720 for the treatment of diseases caused by NTM and MTb, for which patients around the world desperately need new treatment options.
About the Author(s):
Troy Lister, PhD
Vice President of Research and Early Development at Spero Therapeutics