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Spero Therapeutics Acquires Next Generation Antibacterial Candidates from Pro Bono Bio for Treatment of Multidrug-Resistant, Gram-Negative Infections

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Spero Therapeutics, LLC, a biopharmaceutical company founded to develop novel therapies for the treatment of bacterial infections, today announced it has acquired a next generation set of antibacterial candidates from Pro Bono Bio Ltd (PBB) to bolster its pipeline addressing the increased prevalence of multi-drug resistant forms of Gram-negative bacteria.   The assets acquired have been developed by Cantab Anti Infectives Ltd, a PBB group company.

"The acquisition of these antibacterial candidates from PBB demonstrates our commitment to finding new approaches to treat multi-drug resistant bacterial infections that continue to pose a serious threat to society. We are continuing to build our pipeline of differentiated anti-infectives and are excited to have gained access to this next-generation set of candidates for further study," said Ankit Mahadevia, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Spero.

Michael Earl, Chief Operating Officer of PBB, added "We believe that the antibacterial candidates discovered by Cantab have the potential to provide novel, safer alternatives to treat serious Gram-negative infections. We are pleased to transition the program to the highly experienced team at Spero Therapeutics who possesses the specific know how needed to bring the program through pre-clinical and clinical stages of development in this therapy area."

Spero will continue to work collaboratively with Cantab to develop the acquired antibacterial compounds for treatment of multi-drug resistant strains of serious Gram-negative pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii. Under the terms of the agreement, Spero will receive all intellectual property associated with Cantab's program in exchange for undisclosed upfront and milestone payments, as well as royalties upon commercialization of any therapeutic candidates. 

The Cantab program is currently substantially funded by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, through contract HHSN272201500014C, which is being used to evaluate the potential of these candidate compounds against certain Gram-negative Category A and B pathogens NIAID has identified as possible diseases of public health concern.  

About Spero

Spero Therapeutics is a global multi-asset clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts dedicated to developing a novel and highly differentiated pipeline of antibacterials focused on unmet needs of patients with drug resistant bacterial infections.  Spero Therapeutics is advancing two lead programs in parallel, SPR741 and SPR994.  SPR741, also called Potentiator, is a platform approach to combination therapy to treat serious and life-threatening multi-drug resistant gram negative infections, such as Enterobacteriaceae and Acinetobacter baumanii, including carbapenem resistant strains.  SPR741 increases the spectrum and potency of more than two dozen classes of gram positive antibiotics to include activity against multidrug resistant gram negative infections when used in combination.  SPR994 is a novel oral agent that has demonstrated potent invitro activity against a wide variety of gram-negative bacteria, including extended spectrum beta lactamases (ESBLs), and gram-positive bacteria.  Spero Therapeutics also has a robust preclinical pipeline including SPR720, which is a preclinical oral asset for nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) lung disease, a rare and often chronic fatal infection.  In addition, Spero Therapeutics has a variety of other discovery antimicrobials focused on drug-resistant infections. 

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