A Brighton-based pharmaceutical company is to step up the fight against MRSA after securing a multi-million pound windfall.
A Brighton-based pharmaceutical company is to step up the fight against MRSA and other drug-resistant infections after securing a multi-million pound windfall.
Destiny Pharma, which focuses on developing early-stage anti-microbial drugs, has raised £4.8 million from a consortium to fund further trials of its medicines designed to fight these diseases.
The consortium included Destiny’s existing shareholders and was led by Longbow Capital LLP, which specialises in backing early-stage healthcare companies. The firm has now invested £4 million in Destiny since 2005.
Destiny was founded in 1997 by chief executive Dr Bill Love and its XF compounds are designed to kill the bacteria instead of limiting population growth. Destiny’s lead compound XF-73 has so far been tested against five MRSA strains and none have developed a resistance to the drug.
Howard Matthews, Destiny’s non-executive director, said this latest investment is an endorsement of the company’s potential.
“Given the financial climate, this investment is a poignant reflection of the urgent need for an effective drug for MRSA,” he added. “A drug that could prevent infections without generating resistance would save health services money as well as lives. The cost of treating healthcare-associated infections in America alone is $30 billion (£20.3 billion) a year. Our shareholders believe the XF series can meet this need.”
Longbow founding partner Edward Rudd added that he believes investors will make “significant returns” once licensing arrangements are secured for Destiny’s technology.
Established in 2004, Longbow has more than £50 million under management and is planning to raise a further £15 million next year. The London and Edinburgh-based company invests in pharma and biotech as well as medical technology and personal care products and services.