Paratek Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Boston-based drug company focused on antibiotic resistance, has closed the first tranche of a $40 million Series H round. VentureWire puts the tranche at $22 million, with the second tranche expected to close in early 2008. Aisling Capital led the round, and was joined by D.E. Shaw, Boston Life Science Venture Corp. and Pacific Growth Equities (also served as placement agent). Return backers included Nomura Phase4 Ventures, Novartis BioVentures, BioFund Ventures, HBM BioVentures, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch, BioVeda Fund and Hercules Technology Growth Capital.
Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that it has closed the first tranche of a $40 million private financing. Aisling Capital led the round, with additional participation by new investors, D.E. Shaw and Boston Life Science Venture Corporation, and current investors, Nomura Phase4 Ventures, Novartis BioVentures, BioFund Ventures, HBM BioVentures, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch, BioVeda Fund and Hercules Technology Growth Capital. The second and final tranche is expected to be closed in early 2008. Pacific Growth Equities served as placement agent for the financing.
Proceeds of the financing will be used primarily to advance Paratek's lead programs to develop broad-spectrum antibiotics, including two antibiotics for the treatment of resistant bacterial infections such as those caused by Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Recent media attention on the dramatic increase in invasive MRSA infections, as published in the October 17, 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), has highlighted the dire need for new antibiotics to combat these infections in both the hospital and community settings. Paratek has designed two broad- spectrum antibiotics that have been shown to work against susceptible bacteria found in most common infections, as well as antibiotic resistant bacteria such as MRSA, vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (PRSP).
Paratek's most advanced broad-spectrum antibiotic, PTK 0796, is currently being developed to treat serious, often life-threatening infections that require a hospital visit such as complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI) and moderate to severe community-acquired pneumonias (CAP). Oral and intravenous (IV) forms of PTK 0796 are being studied in comparison to Zyvox(R) in an ongoing Phase 2 clinical study of patients with cSSSI. The study is anticipated to complete enrollment this December. Funding from the financing will allow for the completion of studies necessary to initiate Phase 3 studies in cSSSI and CAP by mid-2008. The financing will also help Paratek continue development of a novel community-based broad-spectrum antibiotic that has been designed specifically to treat MRSA and other important bacterial infections in the physician's office setting. This community-targeted oral antibiotic will be distinct from PTK 0796 and is expected to begin Phase 1 clinical studies in 2008.
Thomas J. Bigger, President and CEO of Paratek Pharmaceuticals, stated, “This financing will be critical in advancing Paratek's work in serious and life-threatening infections caused by both susceptible and resistant bacteria. We are fortunate to be working with informed private investors who have recognized the serious problems facing physicians in both hospital and community settings due to resistant bacteria such as MRSA and have determined that Paratek's programs represent a promising solution that could generate significant value. This financing will allow Paratek to bring our broad- spectrum antibiotic into Phase 3 clinical studies, the final tests needed before a product may be approved for use.”
As part of the financing, Anthony Sun, M.D., Principal of Aisling Capital, will join Paratek's Board. Dr. Sun commented, “We are excited to be involved with Paratek Pharmaceuticals; our fund is committed to providing financial support to companies developing innovative solutions to serious diseases. Combined with a seasoned management team, Paratek is well positioned to address problems of bacterial resistance.”
About Paratek Pharmaceuticals
Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is engaged in the discovery and commercialization of new therapeutics that treat serious and life-threatening diseases, with a particular focus on the growing worldwide problem of antibiotic resistance. Paratek is advancing novel compounds that can circumvent or block bacterial resistance. Paratek's lead compound, PTK 0796, is a broad spectrum antibiotic derived from the tetracycline class with oral and IV formulations that is being developed for the treatment of the most common serious hospital bacterial infections, including those caused by resistant strains such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Oral and IV formulations of PTK 0796 are currently being compared to Zyvox(R) in a Phase 2 clinical study in complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI). In addition to PTK 0796, Paratek is also developing a community- targeted broad-spectrum antibiotic and narrow-spectrum antibiotics to treat acne and C. difficile associated-diarrhea based on its novel tetracycline chemistry expertise.
Outside of its tetracycline program, Paratek has also identified small molecules that inhibit bacteria-specific proteins called Multiple Adaptational Response (MAR) proteins that control bacterial infectivity and resistance development. MAR inhibitors would be used to prevent life-threatening and debilitating infections such as ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and hospital acquired pneumonia (HAP) and to enhance the activity of antibiotics against resistant bacteria, and since they do not directly attack bacteria, they would be less likely to engender resistance development.
Based upon a growing body of clinical research and as part of its effort to exploit its novel tetracycline derivatives and their unique mechanism of action in selected inflammatory and neurodegenerative conditions, Paratek has an active chemical synthesis effort to produce novel and diverse small molecules, with the goal of developing non-antibacterial compounds with improved activity in serious inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. Paratek's most advanced projects in this area are its multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and ischemic stroke programs.
Paratek has active collaborations with Merck, MerckSerono, Warner-Chilcott and FSMA to develop orally available small molecule drugs for community bacterial infections, multiple sclerosis, acne & rosacea, and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), respectively. Paratek is privately held and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. For more information about Paratek and its research and development initiatives, visit Paratek's website at http://www.paratekpharm.com/.