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 Therapeutics 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 Therapeutics 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)