British inhaled anti-infectives specialist Pulmocide has bagged US$30.4m (€28.8m) from new and existing investors to bring its anti-RSV and anti-aspergillosis compounds into clinical testing.

The round was led by new investor SR One and included Longwood Fund as well as existing investors SV Life Sciences, F-Prime Capital, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Inc. and Touchstone Innovations plc. The proceeds will be used to progress its two pipeline products PC786 and PC945 through early clinical development.

By April, the company said it will initiate Phase I testing of PC945, a first-in-class azole antifungal for the treatment of pulmonary Aspergillosis, including fungal asthma, pulmonary Aspergilloma, Aspergillus infections in lung transplant recipients and patients with cystic fibrosis. PC945 is 30- to 100-fold more potent than Voriconazole against Aspergillus fumigatus spp. and exhibits minimal systemic bioavailability after inhaled administration and is intended for delivery by nebuliser at low doses (0.5 to 5mg daily).

Additionally, Pulmocide said it is on track to deliver proof-of-concept data in severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections with its inhaled non-nucleoside antiviral agent PC786 in human RSV challenge and in infants hospitalised with bronchiolitis due to RSV infection, who have a 3-fold increased risk of asthma. PC786 inhibits virus gene transcription/replication by the RSV-A2 derived ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex.

 “Respiratory infections are a significant cause of global morbidity and mortality with a high unmet medical need,” said Garth Rapeport, CEO of Pulmocide.

“This Series B fundraising will provide us with the capital to advance our two novel compounds through early clinical development; another step closer to a treatment for patients for these debilitating infections.”

Matthew Foy, Partner at SR One, added: “Pulmocide’s core asset is the management team’s proprietary expertise in the design of highly potent compounds with extended lung retention time and limited systemic exposure.”

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