Lodo Therapeutics has been launched by investment firm Accelerator Corporation with series A capital from investors including AbbVie, Eli Lilly, Wuxi PharmaTech, Pfizer, IBM and Johnson & Johnson.

Life sciences investment firm Accelerator Corporation has launched a US-based small molecule developer called Lodo Therapeutics with a $17m series A round backed by its investment syndicate, including several corporates.

The corporate investors were pharmaceutical companies AbbVie, Eli Lilly and Company, WuXi PharmaTech, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, the latter two of which took part through their Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC and Pfizer Venture Investments subsidiaries, and computing company IBM, which invested through its Watson Fund.

Alexandria Venture Investments, Arch Venture Partners, Harris & Harris Group, Innovate NY Fund, The Partnership Fund for New York City and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also participated in the round.

Co-founded by Sean Brady, head of Rockefeller University’s Laboratory of Genetically Encoded Small Molecules, Lodo has licensed its technology platform from Rockefeller and will look to develop therapeutics to treat unmet medical needs in developed and developing nations.

Brady said: “More than half of all small molecule drugs for cancer, infections and Type 2 diabetes today are derived from natural products, representing significant promise of this approach for patients. Our genome-based, culture-independent approach exploits the power of microbial evolution to identify therapeutically valuable natural products.

“With the support of Accelerator, we can tap this rich, natural source of small molecule diversity to develop new therapies for emerging bacteria and drug resistant bacteria, critical needs in today’s global healthcare environment.”

– This article first appeared on our sister site Global Corporate Venturing.