Cambridge, UK-based biotech company Phico Therapeutics has announced new investments of £7m, led by the UK’s most active growth capital investor BGF.

The new investments closely follow the recent announcement that Phico has been awarded a grant of up to $18.2m (£13.2m) to support the development of its lead product SASPject PT3.9 from Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X).

Phico added that the newly raised £7m will be used to support the continued development of its SASPject technology platform, with particular attention on the progression of PT3.9 into the clinic.

Phico’s platform delivers pan-spectrum anti-bacterial proteins, known as small acid-soluble spore proteins (SASPs), to selected bacterial species using engineered bacterial viruses, inactivating the bacteria’s DNA and leaving them unable to metabolise or reproduce.

SASPject PT3.9 is in development for the intravenous treatment of hospital infections caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

The planned Phase I clinical trials will focus on establishing the safety and kinetics of PT3.9 in healthy volunteers and also potentially in patients with ventilated hospital acquired pneumonia and ventilator associated pneumonia.

“This is an extremely exciting time for Phico Therapeutics, and we are delighted to be partnering with this innovative business and expanding our presence in Cambridge and UK life sciences. BGF’s long-term approach to patient capital is a good match for this dynamic business, which has been at the forefront of building technological solutions to antibacterial resistance for over 20 years. We are thrilled to be working with Dr Heather Fairhead and the management team in helping them to realise the next great milestone for the company,” said Tim Rea, investor at BGF.

“We are delighted that BGF has made this investment alongside many of Phico’s existing investor base.  Coupled with the recent award from CARB-X, these funds will enable the company to exemplify the technology in first in human intravenous studies.  This is a very exciting time for Phico and we’re looking forward to great things ahead,” added Heather Fairhead, founder and chief executive officer of Phico.