NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Accelerator Corporation, a leading life science investment and management firm, today announced the formation of Lodo Therapeutics Corporation to develop novel therapeutics derived from the company’s metagenomics-based small molecule discovery platform. The investors participating in the $17 million Series A financing include Accelerator New York’s investment syndicate partners: AbbVie, Alexandria Venture Investments, ARCH Venture Partners, Eli Lilly and Company, Harris & Harris Group, Inc., Innovate NY Fund, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., The Partnership Fund for New York City, Pfizer Venture Investments, Watson Fund and WuXi PharmaTech. The financing also includes investment participation by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Lodo Therapeutics seeks to realize the vision of researcher and Lodo Therapeutics co-founder Sean Brady, Ph.D., head of The Rockefeller University's Laboratory of Genetically Encoded Small Molecules. Dr. Brady’s research centers on the discovery, biosynthesis and characterization of new, genetically-encoded small molecules from microbial sources, with a special focus on those produced by uncultured soil bacteria and the human microbiome. Veteran drug hunter and Lodo Therapeutics co-founder David Pompliano, Ph.D., will join the company as interim chief scientific officer. Dr. Pompliano is a well-established and internationally known scientist with extensive experience in the discovery and early development of anti-infective and oncology drugs within both large pharmaceutical companies and small biotechnology firms.
“More than half of all small molecule drugs for cancer, infections and Type 2 diabetes today are derived from natural products, representing significant promise of this approach for patients. Our genome-based, culture-independent approach exploits the power of microbial evolution to identify therapeutically valuable natural products,” stated Dr. Brady. “With the support of Accelerator, we can tap this rich, natural source of small molecule diversity to develop new therapies for emerging bacteria and drug resistant bacteria, critical needs in today's global healthcare environment.”
Lodo Therapeutics has entered into a license agreement with The Rockefeller University to practice and expand upon this technology platform and approach to developing therapeutics for unmet medical needs in both the developed and developing world. Since 2014, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has sponsored research in the laboratory of Dr. Brady to support this drug discovery platform. Dr. Brady’s broad-based work at The Rockefeller University initially focused on antibiotics, but has since expanded to focus on uncovering improved therapeutics for a variety of diseases that affect patients in the world’s poorest countries. Lodo Therapeutics, in partnership with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will work to bring these drug candidates toward the initiation of human clinical trials. Lodo will continue to develop Dr. Brady’s platform, not only for a broad range of infectious diseases like tuberculosis, but also in additional areas including oncology, metabolic disorders and rare diseases.
“Tuberculosis is a leading cause of preventable death in the world’s poorest countries, yet current drug regimens are lengthy, expensive and often ineffective,” said Trevor Mundel, president of Global Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We are thrilled to partner with Lodo Therapeutics to support the development of novel technologies to find new and better drugs to treat tuberculosis and combat the problem of drug resistant infectious disease more generally.”
“As the second company that Accelerator has launched in New York City this month, we are well on our way to building the next generation of successful biotechnology and life science companies that may make a huge impact in the lives of patients,” said David M. Schubert, chief operating officer of Accelerator.
“Sean Brady’s approach to developing new therapeutics based on microbes from soil has the potential to make a tremendous impact on human health, and I am enormously pleased that this work will advance beyond the walls of academia,” said Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Ph.D., president of The Rockefeller University. “We have the best hope of advancing science and creating new medicines when bright, dedicated scientists from basic research labs join forces with their counterparts in industry. The formation of Lodo Therapeutics represents not only the advancement of medicinal science, but also the continuing development of New York City’s rich biotechnology ecosystem.”
Under Accelerator’s unique and proven investment and operations management model, the early operations of Lodo Therapeutics will be overseen by Accelerator’s core management team. Accelerator has assembled a team of talented professionals with deep investment, operational and scientific expertise to build high-quality life science startup companies. By leveraging Accelerator’s capabilities, Lodo Therapeutics will be highly focused on achieving key value-building scientific milestones, while the Accelerator management team handles all aspects of business management and scientific oversight. In addition to leveraging Accelerator’s management capabilities, Lodo Therapeutics will also utilize highly talented and capable consultants in areas of chemistry, biology and early preclinical development.
Lodo Therapeutics’ office and lab headquarters will be located within Accelerator’s facilities at the Alexandria Center for Life Science, New York City’s first and only premier life science park. Since its establishment, The Alexandria Center for Life Science has become the leading commercial destination in New York City for world-class life science entities to translate innovative discoveries into breakthrough products for patients with significant unmet medical needs.
About Accelerator Corporation
Accelerator Corporation, established in 2003 with operations in Seattle and New York City, is a biotechnology investment and management company. Formed by a syndicate of top-tier venture capital investors and a world-class research institution, Accelerator identifies, evaluates, finances, and manages the development of emerging biotechnology opportunities. Accelerator has built a unique solution that addresses many of the key problems associated with investing in early-stage biotechnology by providing access to venture capital, management, scientific expertise, and facilities. For more information, please go to: www.acceleratorcorp.com.
Since its inception, Accelerator has raised more than $100 million in capital commitments to invest in innovative life science companies. Accelerator has assembled a team of talented professionals with deep investment, operational and scientific expertise to build high-quality life science startup companies and will continue to seek out the most exciting and potentially valuable emerging biotechnologies. Earlier this year, Accelerator announced the launch of Petra Pharma Corporation with $48 million in Series A financing commitments to develop novel, small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and metabolic diseases.