[Funding alert] Bugworks raises $18M in Series B1 round led by Lightrock India

Bugworks plans to use the funding to continue investing in its proprietary drug discovery platforms and identify new drugs for serious, underserved indications.
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US, Australia, and Bengaluru-based Bugworks, a clinical-stage multi-indication therapeutics startup, on Wednesday announced that it has raised $18 million in Series B1 funding. 

The round was led by Lightrock India and included existing investors The University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC) Japan, Global Brain Corporation in Japan, 3ONE4Capital India, Acquipharma Holdings SA, IM Holdings BV and Featherlite Group India. Tejasvi Ravi, representing LightRock India will join the company’s board of directors.

Anand Anandkumar, CEO, Bugworks Research, said, 

“We are very excited about our lead clinical asset BWC0977 that is potentially the first novel truly broad-spectrum antibacterial drug in nearly five decades. We are very honored to welcome a syndicate of world class investors, who join our committed existing-investors in supporting our dual mission of combating AMR and hard to treat cancers.”

This round will support the clinical development of BWC0977, a novel broad spectrum antibacterial drug, and the pre-clinical development of its Adenosine immuno-oncology asset. Bugworks will continue to invest in its proprietary drug discovery platforms GYROX (for antimicrobial resistance - AMR) and DARE (for immuno-oncology - IO), and identify new drugs for serious, underserved indications. 

Bugworks’ lead antibacterial asset BWC0977 continues to be supported by CARB-X, the global non-profit partnership dedicated to accelerating antibacterial research to tackle the global threat of drug-resistant bacteria.

The company has also added global thought leaders as investors, including Lord Jim O'Neill, the author of “The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) 2016” and Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson and Founder, Biocon Limited.

“It is a privilege to partner with Bugworks in solving the problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) which is fast becoming one of the most important global public health crises, with the best of Indian talent and technology. Their in-house platform coupled with a truly global execution network, puts Bugworks in a unique position to deliver pathbreaking solutions to combat AMR and cancer,” said Tejasvi Ravi, who leads healthcare investments at Lightrock.

“I am very pleased to join this investment round and to stay committed to one of the most innovative and nimble drug discovery startups from India, which is focusing on an issue of global significance, AMR; a silent pandemic with devastating consequences,” added Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CMD, Biocon.

Bugworks is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company founded in February 2014, developing novel therapeutic assets in the anti-infectives and immuno-oncology (IO) areas using innovative science from the frontiers of computational biology, pharmacology, structural-biology, and medicinal chemistry.

BWC0977 is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial and is targeted to address unmet needs of serious hospital and community infections, and bacterial biothreats. Its asset for IO is in the mid preclinical stage, targets multiple cancers and is expected to be used either standalone or in combination with immune checkpoint therapies.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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