ARTICLE | Company News

Spero, Roche in infectious disease deal

April 10, 2014 12:05 AM UTC

Infectious disease play Spero Therapeutics LLC (Cambridge, Mass.) granted Roche (SIX:ROG; OCTQX:RHHBY) the exclusive option to acquire Spero's lead antibiotic program, a preclinical inhibitor of an undisclosed target in a quorum-sensing pathway that Spero said "controls the virulence and persistence of Gram-negative bacteria." Roche said the initial focus of the program will be multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The pharma will provide undisclosed R&D funding and can exercise its option prior to submission of an IND. If Roche exercises the option, Spero will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and be eligible for milestones.

Concurrent with the deal, Spero also closed a $3 million series A round from Atlas Venture; SR One; and Partners Innovation Fund. Spero, which was founded in April 2013, said its first program "extends from the work of" scientific founder Laurence Rahme, an associate professor at Massachusetts General Hospital. According to the website for Rahme's lab, she is developing anti-infectives that include selective inhibitors of the MvfR (multiple virulence factor regulator)-dependent quorum sensing pathway of P. aeruginosa. ...