Newton Biocapital (NBC), a venture capital firm focused on investing and growing early-stage life sciences companies in Europe and Japan targeting chronic health conditions, has announced the closing of a successful €8 million Series A financing round for Santero.
SANTERO, a spin-off company of the Université libre de Bruxelles, is dedicated to the development of first-in-class antibiotics against multi-drug resistant infections. With the global rise of multi-drug resistant bacteria, antibiotics are becoming less effective, leading to more severe infections and increased mortality. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as one of the top 10 global public health threats, responsible for nearly 5 million deaths worldwide each year, of which more than 1 million are directly attributable to drug-resistant bacteria.
The funds will be used to advance the development of SANTERO's revolutionary inhibitors specifically designed to combat multi-drug resistant infections. NBC led the investment round, joined by SFPIM, WE Life Sciences, Sambrinvest and a group of dedicated business angels led by Pierre Drion. This financial support will enable SANTERO to continue its ground-breaking antibiotic research and development initiatives to address the critical global problem of antibiotic resistance.
Since 2000, only five new classes of antibiotics have been marketed: oxazolidinones, lipopetides, pleuromutilins, tiacumicins and diarylquinolines, but none of them target the Gram-negative bacteria that cause the majority of AMR infections. If SANTERO is successful, the team will add a new treatment option for multi-resistant bacteria, significantly improving survival and recovery for patients and providing an important solution for society.
"We at Newton Biocapital are proud of our investment in SANTERO. The WHO has recognised antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as a major public health challenge. SANTERO's ground-breaking research has the potential to have a direct impact on patients' lives and contribute to the fight against AMR. Governments are also recognising the need to incentivise the development of new antibiotics in Europe and make them available globally. Our investment in SANTERO reflects our commitment to tangible solutions that benefit patients and society while addressing major global health challenges," said Philippe De Backer, Senior Partner at Newton Biocapital.
"We are very pleased to be joined by such experienced global investors," said Cedric Govaerts and Abel Garcia-Pino, founders of SANTERO. "They bring not only the necessary funds, but also the expertise and network that will be critical to SANTERO's success in bringing its first antibacterial therapeutics to the clinic and to patients."
"SFPIM is pleased to support the development of SANTERO's activities alongside NBC2, a fund in which it holds a 19% stake. SANTERO is at the forefront of the fight against the escalating challenge of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. As the first intervention to address the critical issue of antibiotic resistance, which has a profound impact on hospitals, medical professionals and various health care institutions, SANTERO's innovative approach promises to provide a robust and sustainable solution," said François Fontaine, Investment Manager at SFPIM.
"We are delighted to be part of this adventure and to support a pioneering company like SANTERO, which aims to develop a new therapeutic solution to the global burden of antimicrobial resistance. We believe it is our mission to support such a societal and impactful project alongside other innovative players. At WE Life Sciences, we are committed to accompanying our local heroes on their fascinating yet challenging journey," says Christina Franssen, Investment Manager at WE Life Sciences.