RTP’s Locus Biosciences secures up to $25M in credit, plans expansion

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 Locus Biosciences has signed a credit facility deal with Hercules Capital (NYSE: HTGC) worth up to $25 million.

According to a statement from the company, under the agreement the funds will be available in tranches once specific milestones are met.

The capital will be used to support the “discovery platform engine and in-house manufacturing capacity,” said Paul Garofolo, co-founder and CEO of Locus Biosciences in a statement.

The company is developing what it calls “a new class of precision engineered bacteriophage treatments for a diverse set of bacterial and inflammatory diseases” in its statement.

According to Locus, that includes two “innovative categories” including one to fight infections like those caused by drug-resistant bacteria and one to engineer “bacteriophage therapies that utilize bacteria resident in the body to deliver therapeutic molecules,” the company said in its statement.

The company is based in Research Triangle Park.  It noted “multiple non-dilutive strategic partnerships validate the company’s platform and programs,” in a statement, adding that those include alliances with Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the company’s lead Phase 2 asset, and also a deal with Johnson & Johnson worth a possible $818 million, and an entity listed sa Combatting Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Accelerator (CARB-X).

Founded in 2015, it received a $75,000 company inception loan from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, then an additional $250,000 small business research loan.  According to the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, three of the four scientific co-founders of the company received grants from the Center totaling more than $300,000.

The company raised $77 million a year ago, following a $12.5 million debt raise earlier in 2020, and an additional $7 million in debt financing in November 2020.

Original Source: WRAL TechWire