-The biotech Company’s proprietary technology generated a lead asset that modulates bacterial virulence and restores microbial communities to prevent post-surgical infections-
CHICAGO, Oct. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Covira, a Chicago-area based microbiome-focused biotech company focused on developing novel therapeutic agents that modulate the gut microbiome to prevent diseases, announced the closing on its first dilutive funding via an oversubscribed $1.0M Seed Round after raising $9.1 million of non-dilutive funding. Additionally, Covira submitted a $2.3M NIH Seed Fund application in April 2022 that received a fundable-score, and the company is preparing for Series A Funding in 2023.
Over the next 24 months, Covira is expected to take the required steps to move towards commercializing CS-0003, a proprietary patented compound which inhibits bacterial virulence without altering bacteria growth and viability. CS-0003 can maintain the function of the normal microbiome to suppress any harmful pathogenic strains while maintaining its health promoting functions. Covira intends to file an IND application to prevent post-operative infections. Plans are in progress for completing a Phase 1 trial and scaling the Company accordingly to match strategic growth.
“Despite advances in infection control practices, post-surgical infections remain a substantial cause of prolonged hospitalization, readmissions and morbidity and can lead to life-threatening sepsis or death,” said Peter Farmakis, Chief Executive Officer, Covira. “It’s been a privilege to be leading the company’s strategic growth and funding and I am proud to announce the assembly of an incredible leadership team who will advance the next era of Covira’s mission to make postoperative infections a thing of the past.”
Covira’s innovative approach enhances the body’s natural protective capabilities by leveraging the gut microbiome’s power to maintain and improve gut bacteria. CS-0003 is a prescription medication delivered orally – patients mix the powder with water and drink the solution before and after a surgical procedure. CS-0003 coats the G.I. tract and replenishes the mucus layer of the intestinal barrier and suppresses virulent (harmful) bacteria from migrating to the surgical wound site where they can cause an infection. CS-0003 enhances the healing power of the gut microbiome by embedding the local environment with phosphate, a key local resource that can become depleted during surgical injury leading to the triggering of bacterial virulence. CS-0003 was originally developed, tested and synthesized in consultation with Covira’s founder, Dr. John Alverdy, an expert in the microbial basis of post-surgical infections in collaboration with a renowned polymer expert and advisory board member, Dr. Matthew Tirrell at the University of Chicago.
Covira’s leadership team is comprised of 20 members with deep scientific expertise and business leadership experience.
- John Alverdy, M.D., Founder, and Chief Scientific Officer, Board Member – Preeminent surgeon-scientist and world leader in surgical infection research with a focus on the molecular basis of surgical infections and the gut microbiome.
- Jaime Contreras, M.B.A., Board Member – Global commercial executive with significant life science experience, including running a global division as an Executive Officer at Abbott Laboratories from 2013 to 2020.
- Peter Farmakis, M.B.A., Chief Executive Officer, Board Member – Proven life science executive from J&J, Abbott and four prior startups including two in the biotech space culminating in strategic sales to larger multinational corporations.
- Brian Yoor, Board Member – Global financial executive with diversified life science expertise in finance, operations, strategy, investor relations, acquisitions, and healthcare startups. Served as the Chief Financial Officer of Abbott from 2015 to 2020.
- Amelia Bartholomew, M.D., M.P.H., FACS – Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering, Chief, Translational Research, Director, Medical Student Surgical Education, University of Illinois at Chicago.
- Eugene Chang, M.D., FACP – Martin Boyer Professor of Medicine; Director Digestive Disease Research Core Center NIH University of Chicago.
- Neil Hyman, M.D., FACS, FASCRS – Professor of Surgery, Chief, Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery University of Chicago.
- Eric Pamer, M.D. FACP – Donald F. Steiner Professor of Medicine; Director, The Duchossois Family Institute University of Chicago.
- Matthew Tirrell, Ph.D. – Dean of the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago, Deputy Laboratory Director for Science at Argonne National Laboratory.
- Scott Hales, M.B.A. – Chief Financial Officer with operational, mergers and acquisition/corporate finance, banking, and accounting expertise.
- Patrick Hennessey, M.D. – Due Diligence Director for the Keiretsu Forum Midwest and is Chair of the group’s Life Science Deal Screening Committee.
- Jeff Schaffnit, M.B.A. – Biotech executive, focused on driving growth through innovative commercial (marketing and sales) strategies.
- Jayson Slotnik, J.D. – Health Policy Strategies, reimbursement expert that advise clients on Medicare, Medicaid and private payer coverage, coding and reimbursement policies.
- Sharon Ayd, Ph.D., M.B.A., Regulatory and Product Development, SAB Member – Advarra, helping clients navigate the evolving research and regulatory environment.
- Frank Costabile, C.P.A, Finance and Accounting, BAB Member – Costabile & Steffens P.C., trusted advisor to navigate options and reach finance and accounting solutions.
- Jessica Fairchild, J.D., Legal-General Counsel, BAB Member – Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres, commercially focused counsel and strategic guidance that anticipates existential threats, navigates complex issues and shapes game-changing opportunities.
· Julie Ferguson, M.A., Communications and Public Relations, BAB Member – JFPRMedia Group, helping organizations shape their reputation and develop and lead public relations strategies.
- Sanjiv Hyoju, M.D., Ph.D, Surgeon- Scientist, SAB Member – Alverdy Lab (University of Chicago Research Professional).
- Olga Zaborina, Ph.D., Scientist, SAB Member – Alverdy Lab (University of Chicago for Research Professor).
- Alexander Zaborin, Ph.D., Scientist, SAB Member – Alverdy Lab (University of Chicago Research Professional III).
Covira signed an agreement with Bright Path Labs, who is working to scale CS-0003 by moving from batch processing to continuous flow chemistry. Other notable partners include completing IND-enabling studies with Toxicology Research Laboratory, and regulatory counsel with Ground Zero Pharmaceuticals.
A spinout from The University of Chicago (Sept 2018), Covira is a biotech company developing drugs that work by modulating the biological activity of the gut microbiome to prevent diseases. This microbiome-focused company is based on the work of Dr. John Alverdy, MD, a world authority on the molecular basis of post-surgical infections. Covira’s platform technology generated a lead asset (CS-0003) that modulates bacterial virulence and restores microbial communities to prevent post-surgical infection. Covira’s approach is transformative to the field and the world is taking notice…in the 4th quarter of last year Business Worldwide Magazine named Covira Among the 2021- Top 20 Most Innovative Companies to Watch.
Learn more about Covira Surgical at covirasurgical.com. Follow us on LinkedIn @Covira.
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