Sunday, August 21, 2005

VC -->Old Bugs, New Drugs

Ask any hospital doctor: the only thing scarier than an HMO is a rapidly-mutating infection that can rip through a hospital ward and is resistant to antibiotics. The threat from evolving germs is a big public health issue. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and malaria are just some of the diseases that have become hard to treat with existing antibiotics. Mpex Pharmaceuticals recently bagged $32 million in second-round financing to develop molecules that inhibit bacteria’s ability to become resistant to antibiotics. Backers included SV Life Sciences, HBM BioVentures, Aberdare Ventures, and others. Mpex, based in San Diego, is hoping these compounds will significantly improve the action of existing antibiotics, some of which enjoy sales of more than $1 billion annually.

Read the story by Anna Petherick.

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