Funding to Support Development of New Treatments for Drug-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections

OKLAHOMA CITY, Sept. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Synereca Pharmaceutics, Inc. (SPI), a research-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel orally active drugs that restore or increase the effectiveness of existing antibiotics, announced today a $1.4 million convertible debt financing. Accele Venture Partners, the investing arm of life sciences accelerator Accele Biopharma, Inc., led the financing with participation from i2E, Inc., a nationally recognized private not-for-profit corporation focused on growing innovative small businesses in Oklahoma and private investors. Proceeds of the financing will be used to advance SPI’s research focused on compounds to potentiate the effectiveness of existing antibiotics against drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Terms of the financing were not disclosed.

Clayton Duncan, Accele Biopharma CEO and acting CEO of Synereca, stated, “Despite the growing need to treat life-threatening infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria, development of new antibiotics has plummeted due to a combination of technical, regulatory and economic factors. Only two new antibiotics with novel mechanisms have been approved since 1998. SPI’s programs to restore the effectiveness of existing antibiotic offer a much-needed response to this intensifying public health crisis.”

Need for Novel Approaches to Drug-Resistant Bacterial Infections

There are more than 218 million bacterial infections in the US, Japan, and Europe annually. Worldwide antibiotic revenues exceed $43 billion per year. In the US alone, approximately 2 million people acquire bacterial infections in hospitals each year, and 95,000 die as a result. About 70% of those infections are resistant to at least one of the major classes of antibiotics.

Synereca’s lead programs are advancing compounds that potentiate the effects of fluoroquinolones (such as Ciprofloxacin), and polymixins (such as Colistin) – antibiotic classes with over $7 billion in global sales annually. The use of Colistin in particular has increased, often being used as an antibiotic of last resort since it remains effective against life-threatening infections caused by multi-drug resistant gram-negative bacteria. Unfortunately, as Colistin use increases, resistant strains are now emerging.

About Synereca Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Synereca Pharmaceuticals was founded to address the growing problem of bacterial resistance to current antibiotics by developing orally active drugs that restore or increase the effectiveness of existing antibiotics. Synereca has two lead research programs. The first focuses on compounds that potentiate the effectiveness of Colistin without enhancing toxicity. The Colistin potentiation program’s lead compound shifts the MIC of Colistin in multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumanni at least 128-fold in vitro and has been shown to improve the potency of Colsitin in an in vivo preclinical model of infection caused by a Colistin-resistant strain of A baumanni. Synereca’s second program focuses on the inhibition of RecA, a key enzyme in bacterial DNA repair and the development and transmission of antibiotic resistance. Synereca’s protype RecA inhibitors potentiate the killing of a wide variety of pathogenic bacteria by a broad range of bactericidal antibiotics.

For additional information on Synereca, an Accele Biopharma portfolio company, please visit www.synereca.com.

About Accele Biopharma, Inc.

Accele Biopharma (“Accele”) and Accele Venture Partners 1 LP, a related special purpose venture fund, were formed to create a capital-efficient mechanism to identify, finance and manage groundbreaking, early-stage life science technologies that have the potential to dramatically improve human healthcare, have strong commercial promise and have the potential for generating early proof of concept data. To achieve this goal, Accele has assembled an experienced management team, a group of sophisticated investors, a nationally recognized advisory board, leading research facilities and the broad scientific expertise necessary to evaluate and manage such opportunities.

Founded in 2011, Accele is located on the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Research Park in Oklahoma City.

For more information on Accele Biopharma, please visit www.accelebio.com.

About i2E, Inc.

With more than $40 million of investment capital under management, i2E focuses on serving companies in all phases of the business life cycle, from startups looking for their first round of capital all the way to established businesses seeking funding to expand their markets or products. They also are helping lead new business developments into the marketplace more efficiently and more quickly while providing guidance to bring more funding to Oklahoma’s researchers and entrepreneurs.

In the past year i2E launched several new initiatives that more quickly identify promising new technologies developed on state research campuses and working with new companies at the earliest stages of their development to identify a viable product and market. The Oklahoma Bioscience Association recently became part of i2E, a development that means they will carry on the organization’s mission of supporting and enhancing the biotechnology industry in Oklahoma. Through their proven business and venture development process, i2E turns ideas into successful enterprises.

For more information on i2E, Inc., please visit www.i2E.org.