February 28, 2018 / 9:34 AM / 2 years ago

Novo Holdings launches $165 million 'superbug' drug venture fund

LONDON (Reuters) - A $165 million (£119 million) venture fund focused on tackling “superbugs” resistant to modern antibiotics has been launched to invest in small companies working on novel medicines.

Backed by Novo Holdings, which has big stakes in Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk and enzymes specialist Novozymes, the new Repair Impact Fund will invest $20-40 million a year over three to five years in about 20 projects in Europe and the United States.

Novo said on Wednesday its new fund would invest in start-ups, early-stage companies and corporate spin-outs, either as the sole investor or in a syndicate.

The rise of drug-resistant bacteria is a growing threat to modern medicine with the emergence of infections resistant to even last-resort antibiotics - a situation made worse in recent years by overuse of antibiotics and cutbacks in drug research.

Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Jason Neely

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