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12 October 2017

Spero spies opening in public markets

Spero Therapeutics, a bacterial infection treatment developer based on research at Harvard Medical School, has filed to raise up to $86.3m in an initial public offering.

Author: Robert Lavine, news editor, Global Corporate Venturing

Spero Therapeutics, a US-based bacterial infection therapy developer backed by spinout-focused investment firm Osage University Partners has filed for an $86.3m initial public offering.

Founded in 2013, Spero is developing therapeutics, some based on its Potentiator Platform technology, which will enhance the potency of existing antibiotics in order to treat bacterial infections that have proven resistant to multiple drugs.

The company was co-founded by Partners Innovation Fund (PIF), a subsidiary of care provider Partners Healthcare, and Atlas Venture to exploit research conducted by Laurence Rahme, associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and a microbiologist at the school’s teaching hospital Massachusetts General Hospital.

The proceeds will fund a phase 1 clinical trial and the initiation of a phase 3 trial for Spero’s lead product candidate, SPR994, as well as preclinical development and a phase 2 trial for SPR741, an intravenous drug that will be the first to come out of the Potentiator Platform.

Osage University Paertners, PIF, diversified conglomerate Alphabet, pharmaceutical firms GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co and Lundbeck took part in Spero’s last round, a $51.7m series C that closed in March 2017, the latter three through subsidiaries SR One, MRL Ventures and Lundbeckfonden Ventures.

The round, which increased Spero’s overall funding to approximately $115m, also featured conglomerate Kraft Group, Atlas Venture, Rock Springs Capital and RA Capital Management.

PIF, SR One and Atlas Venture invested $3m in Spero in 2014 before joining MRL, Lundbeckfonden Ventures and Kraft Group for a $30m series A round in mid-2015 and a $30m series B in in February 2016.

Atlas Venture is Spero’s larest shareholder, owning a 23.6% stake. Its other notable investors are SR One (17%), GV (13.2%), Lundbeckfond Invest (10.4%), MRL Ventures (8.8%), RA Capital (7.2%) and Osage University Partners (5%).

Spero intends to float on the Nasdaq Global Market. The IPO underwriters are Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Cowen and Company, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company and Oppenheimer & Co.

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