September 4, 2018

Novo Holdings opens proposal round to the U.S. and Canada for its REPAIR Impact Fund

Novo Holdings has opened its investment proposal round to U.S. and Canadian life science companies for its anti-microbial resistance impact fund, REPAIR. The window for submissions will be open from 4 September to 11 October.

Companies are now invited to submit a non-confidential proposal, which will be presented to the fund’s Scientific Selection Board and successful projects will be selected later in the year.

More than 700,000 people die each year from infections resistant to most or all antibiotics, and the number is increasing by the day. Such infections are projected to kill more people than cancer by 2050. Global economic output is expected to be reduced by between 2% and 3.5% and to severely cripple modern medical and surgical advances. For this reason, Novo Holdings created the REPAIR Impact Fund to confront this pending global medical catastrophe.

Novo Holdings launched the European proposal in April. It received 54 high-quality, innovative proposals, which showed great diversity of approaches to the scientific challenge of antimicrobial resistance. As of today, Novo Holdings is progressing 16 out of these 54 proposals to the final stage, and the best project will be announced separately in due course.

Aleks Engel, Partner at Novo Holdings and Director of the REPAIR Impact Fund, said: “We are delighted with the quantity and quality of proposals to the REPAIR Impact Fund received in the European round. Novo Holdings is proud to financially and strategically support the development of these projects which will have a meaningful impact on the future of society. We were able to attract the best companies in Europe and are optimistic that the same scientific prowess will be shown by companies in the U.S. and Canada”.

Notes to editors

The Novo Nordisk Foundation is commissioning the REPAIR Impact Fund.

Novo Holdings is managing the Fund.

About the REPAIR Impact Fund

The Fund will invest in start-ups, early-stage companies and corporate spin-outs in Europe and the United States. It will give priority to first-in-class therapies, covering small molecules, biologics and new modalities, from the early stage of drug development (lead optimization) to the early stages of clinical development (Phase 1). It can invest as the sole investor or in a syndicate, with investments ranging from USD 1 million to USD 15 million.

The projects will be selected through an investment process with support of a highly qualified Scientific Selection Board, comprising 10 world-class experts. For more information about members of the Scientific Selection Board, see

The Fund will focus on priority pathogens ( as defined by the World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a catalogue of 12 families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health. The list especially highlights the threat of gram-negative bacteria that are resistant to multiple or all antibiotics. For more details about the investment process, see

The first round of investments dedicated to European companies started in April 2018 and ended in May 2018. The first investments are expected by the end of 2018.

REPAIR is an acronym: Replenishing and Enabling the Pipeline for Anti-Infective Resistance.

About the challenge

Anti-infective resistance is one of the world’s most pressing medical problems.

  • 700,000 people die each year from infections resistant to antibiotics.

  • 60,000 newborn babies die in India alone each year.

  • In the United States, drug-resistant bacteria result in 2 million infections, causing more than 20,000 deaths and USD 20 billion in excess healthcare spending.

  • By 2050, one person could die every 3 seconds from antimicrobial resistance, more deadly than cancer.

Economic challenges are making this space unattractive to “Big Pharma”. Less experienced small and mid-size players currently dominate the antibiotics pipeline.

  • Venture capital funding supporting biotech research is limited.

  • The preference for “non-inferiority” clinical trials makes price premium challenging.

  • Clinical trials often have extremely sick patients, such as patients with hospital-acquired pneumonia in intensive care with cost exceeding USD 100,000 per patient.

  • The antibiotic stewardship mindset drives a high level of conservatism in use, which is often in short courses (days or weeks at most).

  • Antibiotics are relatively low priced (compared with most tetracycline classes of antibiotics), partly driven by generic price referencing.

About Novo Holdings

Novo Holdings is a Danish private limited liability company wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The company is the holding company in the Novo Group, comprising Novo Nordisk A/S, Novozymes A/S and NNIT A/S, and is responsible for managing the Foundation’s assets. In addition to being the major shareholder in the Novo Group companies, Novo Holdings provides seed and venture capital to development-stage companies, takes significant ownership positions in well-established companies within life science and manages a broad portfolio of financial assets. Read more at

About the Novo Nordisk Foundation

The Novo Nordisk Foundation is an independent Danish foundation with corporate interests. It has two objectives: 1) to provide a stable basis for the commercial and research activities of the companies in the Novo Group; and 2) to support scientific, humanitarian and social causes.

The vision of the Foundation is to contribute significantly to research and development that improves the lives of people and the sustainability of society. Since 2010, the Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than DKK 16 billion (€2.2 billion), primarily for research at public institutions and hospitals in Denmark and the other Nordic countries as well as research-based treatment and prevention of diabetes. Read more at

Further information

Finsbury, Global Strategic Communications – Philip Walters / James Leviton – +44 (0)20 7251 3801 /

For more information visit our website at