Crossover investor backs antibiotic-resistant dermatology startup into the clinic

light skin

Perceptive Advisors has co-led a $14 million Series C financing to get startup Vyome into clinical testing with its lead candidate to treat antibiotic-resistant acne. The New Delhi, India-based startup also expects to use the cash to create a pipeline of antibiotic-resistant dermatology products.

Its lead candidate, VB 1953, is slated to start a Phase I trial to treat drug-resistant acne; the topical is intended to both offer an anti-inflammatory effect and slow the development of resistance. The company merges next-gen antibiotics with a microtechnology gel system intended to retain the drug at the infection site and minimize systemic exposure.

"Vyome is well positioned with a rich pipeline to become a leader in antimicrobial resistance and treatment of skin infections with this new funding round," said Dr. Shiladitya Sengupta, a company co-founder and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

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The company was founded in 2010 and has previously raised $12.3 million, according to SEC filings.

Vyome has a pair of technologies: its Dual Action Rational Therapeutics (DARTs), which work to inhibit multiple targets in bacterial DNA replication and protein translation machinery, and Molecular Replacement Therapy (MRT), which works to substitute essential biomolecules in the tissue microenvironment with antipathogenic agents. The latter approach is expected to be particularly useful in treating fungal infections.

In addition to Perceptive, which like all crossover investors more typically buys into public companies than private ones, Boston-based VC firm Romulus Capital led the round with participation from Kalaari Capital, Sabre Partners and Aarin Capital.

"The support from leading global and leading life investors and the continued support from our largest existing shareholders validates our company's strategy, science and development programs,” said another of the co-founders and its CEO, Venkateswarlu Nelabhotla. “The company will utilize these funds predominantly to advance the clinical development of our lead product, VB 1953, while continuing to develop other proprietary products in our pipeline.”

- here is the release

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