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ArrePath Announces $20 Million Seed Financing to Advance its Machine Learning-based Platform for Discovery of Novel Anti-infectives Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance

ArrePath, an anti-infective drug discovery company addressing the global health challenge of drug resistant infections, announced that it has raised $20 million in seed financing to advance its proprietary, machine learning (ML)-based platform for the discovery of new classes of anti-infectives to overcome antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Insight Partners, and Innospark Ventures co-led the financing, which also included Viva BioInnovator, Arimed Capital, PTX Capital, and Nor’easter Ventures.

ArrePath also announced that Dr. Lloyd Payne has been named President and CEO. Dr. Payne, who serves on the Novo REPAIR Impact Fund Scientific Selection Board and the AMR Action Fund Scientific Advisory Board, brings more than 25 years of scientific and business leadership in the discovery and development of anti-infectives. Prior to joining ArrePath, Dr. Payne served at Evotec, as Executive Vice President, Head of Anti-infectives, where he led the company’s anti-infective discovery and translational microbiology businesses. Previously, he founded Euprotec, a life sciences company focused on anti-infective drug discovery and development and served as its CEO until its acquisition by Evotec.

ArrePath is an anti-infective drug discovery company addressing the global health challenge of drug resistant infections, which result in at least 1.27 million deaths, annually (according to recent analysis of data from 2019 published in The Lancet, The GRAM Report). New classes of antibiotics that more effectively treat drug resistant infections and overcome antimicrobial resistance are urgently needed. ArrePath’s approach leverages a novel technology platform to enable the discovery and development of new and differentiated antibiotics by decoding the complex behavior of bacteria when exposed to new chemical entities (known as ‘bacterial autopsies’), leading to the efficient elucidation of biological mechanisms of action. Utilizing proprietary machine learning and imaging technologies, ArrePath’s platform enables an unprecedented ability to identify, optimize, and rapidly develop new classes of anti-infectives with differentiated mechanisms of action compared to those exhibited by existing drugs.

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“The Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund is proud to cofound ArrePath with Dr. Zemer Gitai and co-lead the seed series investment to accelerate development of the company’s potentially transformative Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning-based drug discovery platform. Additionally, we are delighted that Dr. Payne, a highly experienced executive and leader in anti-infective drug discovery and development, has joined ArrePath as President and CEO,” said Fei Shen, Ph.D., Managing Director, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund USA. “Antimicrobial resistance is an area with critical unmet medical need and is one of the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund’s investment focuses globally. We are committed to playing a key role in the global ecosystem to solve the commercial challenges the area faces and supporting the next generation of anti-infective medicines,” added Dr. Shen.

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“I am delighted to join ArrePath and work with such a talented team to address the central challenge of antimicrobial resistance and further develop the company’s innovative platform technology,” said Dr. Lloyd Payne, ArrePath’s President and CEO. “This financing is a strong vote of confidence, by a global investment syndicate, in our platform and its enormous potential in anti-infective drug discovery. The funding will enable the advancement of our initial leads and expansion of our discovery efforts, as well as the enhancement of our imaging platform and the application of machine learning in the discovery of new drugs to address critical global health challenges.”

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Dr. Gitai, Edwin Grant Conklin Professor of Biology at Princeton University and colleagues published proof-of-concept for the approach in the journal Cell in June 2020. The research describes the identification of a compound with a novel dual mechanism of action against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and the platform has since identified additional compounds with novel mechanisms. A Princeton University spin-out, the company has an exclusive option from the university to license intellectual property related to the platform technology, and novel compounds generated through its application.

The worldwide clinical need for new antibiotics that overcome antimicrobial resistance is significant. Analysis by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that, in the U.S. alone, drug resistant infections result in at least 35,000 deaths annually. It has been estimated that patients spend an aggregate of eight million additional days in the hospital due to drug resistant infections and cost the U.S. healthcare system between $21 billion and $34 billion. A report by the World Health Organization previously estimated that 750,000 people die each year from resistant infections worldwide but this number has recently been updated. The Lancet report (The GRAM Report), published online, in January 2022, analyzed the global burden of bacterial antimicrobial resistance in 2019 and found “at least 1.27 million deaths per year are directly attributable to AMR.” The UK-commissioned O’Neill Review estimates that “unless action is taken, the burden of deaths from AMR could balloon to 10 million lives each year by 2050, at a cumulative cost to global economic output of 100 trillion USD.”

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