The progression of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) presents a global threat, according to the World Health Organisation. Due to overuse and misuse, many bacteria are developing resistance to even the most effective antibiotics available today. As a result, the number of infections that are increasingly difficult or impossible to treat is growing.
One company that is countering the growing threat with new therapeutic approaches is PhagoMed. As an alternative to antibiotics, the company uses lysines to fight bacterial infections. These are enzymes produced by bacteriophages to break down bacterial cell walls and thereby kill bacteria. With its LysinBuilder platform, PhagoMed enables the development of synthetic lysins that can be targeted against selective groups of bacteria. The new compounds could represent a revolution in the treatment of bacterial infections. On 09 November, EIT Health announced the acquisition of the start-up by BioNTech SE.
“We are thrilled to partner with BioNTech to further advance our synthetic lysin technology to address pressing health challenges,” said Alexander Belcredi and Lorenzo Corsini, co-CEOs of PhagoMed. “We thank the team and our mentors at EIT Health Gold Track for their support to help us refine our pipeline, platform and business model that enabled us to achieve our critical business goals in this short timeline.”
Vienna-based PhagoMed has been supported by several EIT Health programmes. It came second in the biotechnology category of the 2020 EIT Health Catapult competition. In June 2020, PhagoMed participated in our Gold Track-Programm with a strong team and a promising idea. Under this, the start-up received support to accelerate their commercial success by guiding them over a 12-month period to define their strategy and business model.
“Antimicrobial resistance is a huge concern for public health all over the world. Science and innovation are needed to find new and alternative solutions to antibiotics that are losing effectiveness, as we have seen from the last two years that we are not safe from infectious diseases. We saw great potential in PhagoMed to contribute towards solving this problem. We are honoured to have supported the innovative science and talented team at PhagoMed within our Gold Track Programme, and we congratulate them on their achievement,” said Jan-Philipp Beck, CEO of EIT Health.