Opsonix is Launched to Develop Pathogen-Extracting Therapies for the Treatment of Sepsis and Other Blood-Borne Infectious Diseases

Company secures $8 million in Series A financing led by Baxter

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Opsonix, Inc. today announced the company’s launch with an $8 million
Series A financing to develop a pathogen-extracting therapy designed to
remove infectious pathogens and toxins from circulating blood. This
treatment potentially offers a new broad-spectrum approach to treat
blood-borne infectious diseases, including sepsis. Opsonix will use the
proceeds from the financing to advance the development of its
extracorporeal pathogen-extracting therapy. The Series A financing was
led by Baxter Ventures, alongside of investment by private investor
Hansjörg Wyss.

Opsonix’s core technology is based on proprietary pathogen-capture
proteins. Its lead molecule is a recombinant human protein derived from
mannose binding lectin (MBL) fused to the Fc region of human
immunoglobulin (FcMBL). When Opsonix’s FcMBL is attached to the membrane
of a dialyzer-type device, it can remove a broad range of bacteria,
fungi, parasites, viruses, and toxins responsible for initiating the
sepsis cascade, including antibiotic-resistant organisms. Opsonix’s
pathogen-extracting therapy has been designed to work in synergy with
conventional antibiotic treatments.

“Opsonix’s pathogen-extracting therapy provides a novel therapeutic
solution leveraging the broad binding activities of a natural human
protein that may rapidly remove sepsis-causing pathogens – and the
toxins they release – from a patient’s blood,” said Eric Devroe, Ph.D.,
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Opsonix. “With our FcMBL-based
pathogen-extracting therapy, treatment of blood-borne infectious disease
can be initiated earlier in the course of infection, when it is most
needed, without having to wait to identify the disease-causing pathogen.
With the strong support of our investors and a compelling body of
evidence developed by our scientific founders, Opsonix will move forward
expeditiously with preclinical studies to advance our
pathogen-extracting therapy.”

Opsonix’s pathogen-capture proteins are engineered versions of human
blood opsonins – molecular components of the innate immune system that
help to clear pathogens and the toxins they release. The company
develops therapeutic products by applying recombinant protein
engineering to harness the unique binding properties of opsonins that
enable them to clear a broad range of infectious microbes and toxic
components from blood, which can stimulate the inflammatory cascade that
leads to sepsis.

In studies conducted and published by Opsonix’s scientific founders at
Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired
Engineering, FcMBL-based pathogen-extracting therapies have been shown
to work in synergy with conventional antibiotics, as well as to clear
blood of antibiotic-resistant organisms. Hence, Opsonix’s sepsis therapy
has the potential to be used not only in combination with existing
antibiotics, but also to treat patients when conventional therapeutic
options are not available.

Leadership Science and Founding Team

Opsonix’s scientific founders, Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., and Michael
Super, Ph.D., carried out the original protein engineering and initial
design and experimental validation of the FcMBL-enabled
pathogen-extracting therapy at the Wyss Institute for Biologically
Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Ingber and Super are
pioneers in translating innovative design principles into healthcare
products. They are also co-principal investigators on a project for
sepsis treatment funded by the United States Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA) Dialysis-Like Therapeutics Program, which led to
the technology that Opsonix is commercializing.

Prior to being appointed Chief Executive Officer of Opsonix, founder
Eric Devroe, Ph.D. worked closely with Ingber and Super as an
Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Wyss Institute where he developed the
company’s product development, business, and fundraising strategy. He
brings more than 15 years of experience in the life sciences, including
roles in venture capital, business development, and as a founding team
member of multiple start-up companies.

Opsonix has an exclusive, worldwide license to intellectual property
from Harvard University covering the use of engineered opsonin proteins
in pathogen-extracting devices and companion diagnostics, and it is
uniquely positioned to advance this technology into therapeutic products
for the benefit of millions of sepsis patients worldwide.

About Sepsis

Sepsis is a life-threatening, systemic inflammatory response to
infection. Once triggered by pathogens, microbial debris or released
toxins, sepsis can escalate quickly, often leading to organ failure and
death. It is one of the most difficult diseases to diagnose and treat
because the underlying infection can be caused by many types of
pathogens and toxins, including bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses,
and conventional blood cultures are frequently negative. Without a rapid
and reliable method to identify the causative pathogen, treatment is
often ineffective. As a result, even with the best medical care, the
mortality rate from sepsis is greater than 30 percent, leading to over
300,000 deaths in the US and more than 8 million deaths worldwide each
year. In addition, the incidence of sepsis continues to increase for a
number of reasons, including changes in patient demographics and the
emergence of new antibiotic-resistant organisms.

About Baxter Ventures

Baxter Ventures is a venture initiative established in 2011 by Baxter
International Inc. to invest in companies with innovative technologies,
products and therapies with the ability to improve patient care globally
and maximize value for investors and entrepreneurs. Baxter International
Inc. is a global, diversified healthcare company that applies a unique
combination of expertise in biotechnology, medical devices and
pharmaceuticals to create products that advance patient care worldwide.

About Opsonix

Opsonix is developing pathogen-extracting therapies to transform the
treatment of blood borne infectious diseases, including sepsis. The
company’s proprietary expertise is creating engineered pathogen-capture
proteins derived from opsonins, which are natural components of our
innate immune system that bind all types of infectious invaders and
toxins, and thereby enable their clearance from our bodies. Opsonix’s
lead pathogen-capture protein, FcMBL, is being developed as an
extracorporeal therapy that treats blood outside the body to remove a
broad range of pathogens and toxins responsible for initiating the
sepsis cascade without having to first identify the disease-causing

For more information, visit www.opsonixbio.com.

The securities offered will not be or have not been registered under
the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold
in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from
registration requirements.


The Yates Network
Kathryn Morris, 845-635-9828