MUNICH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--smartbax, a biotech company developing next-generation antibiotics against multi-drug resistant bacteria, today announced the close of its seed financing round of €1.2 million from Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) and High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), bringing smartbax’s total capital raised to €1.9 million. The funds will be used to advance smartbax’s small molecule antibiotics through preclinical studies, expand the company’s scientific team to further develop its innovative research platforms and identify novel solutions against multi-drug resistant pathogens. In contrast to classical anti-bacterial approaches, smartbax's product candidates act via a unique, double-targeted mechanism of action. This not only inhibits essential processes in the energy metabolism of multi-resistant bacteria, but also creates a stimulation of the bacteria's protein secretion, which leads to a self-digest of the cells.
“The growing number of multi-drug resistant infections, which are accountable for 1.3 million annual worldwide deaths, highlights the need for completely new approaches in treating resistant infections. We are convinced that our differentiating approach can overcome the limitations of currently available antibiotics and that we can thus develop effective therapeutics against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria,” said Dr. Robert Macsics, CEO and Co-founder of smartbax.
smartbax was founded in 2021 by Dr. Robert Macsics, Marco Janezic, and Prof. Dr. Stephan Sieber and was supported by BIVF with a first pre-seed financing of €700,000. The company’s scientific foundation is based on revolutionary research derived by Prof. Dr. Sieber’s research group from the Technical University of Munich. The research was awarded the VIP+ validation prize by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as the m4 award by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy.
“The novel mechanisms of action being developed by smartbax could open new pathways in the treatment of severe bacterial infections. Moreover, the approach has the promise to overcome existing resistance mechanisms and makes a rapid spread of new resistances unlikely. I am glad that we can support smartbax’s scientifically strong team on their journey to address a challenge of utmost societal relevance,” said Dr. Angelika Vlachou, partner at HTGF.
“The development of novel antibiotics is an important contribution to fight multi-drug resistant bacterial infections. smartbax’s founding team takes a highly innovative approach with the potential for broad applicability in numerous indications. We are delighted to accompany smartbax in their future research activities and to thereby support the development of new and urgently needed therapeutic strategies concerning bacterial infections,” added Dr. Sebastian Kreuz, investment manager at BIVF.
smartbax is developing a new generation of antibiotics to address the increasing spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria. Their team of experts works on innovative solutions focusing on substances that simultaneously address several targets, thus hindering resistance development in bacteria. Moreover, the company specializes in the tailored activation of enzymatic pathways, as this approach is particularly promising in the context of difficult-to-treat biofilms. Knowing that preventing a resistance crisis tomorrow means taking action today, smartbax was founded in 2021 in Munich with the aim of making innovative research applicable in creating novel antibiotics that add true value for patients worldwide.
For more information visit our website: https://www.smartbax.de/
About High-Tech Gründerfonds
The seed investor High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) funds technology start-ups with growth potential and accompanied more than 700 start-ups since 2005. With the start of its fourth fund, HTGF has about EUR 1.4 billion under management. The team consisting of experienced investment managers and start-up experts supports young companies with knowhow, entrepreneurial expertise, and passion. HTGF’s focus are high-tech incorporations in the areas digital tech, industrial tech, life sciences, chemistry and related business fields. To date, external investors invested more than EUR 4.5 billion over more than 2,000 follow-up financing rounds into the HTGF portfolio. Moreover, the fund successfully sold its shares on more than 160 companies.
The fund investors of this public-private partnership include the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, KfW Capital, the Fraunhofer Society, as well as more than 40 companies from various fields.
About Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund
Created in 2010, the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund GmbH (BIVF) invests in groundbreaking therapeutics-focused biotechnology companies to drive innovation in biomedical research. BIVF is searching for significant enhancements in patient care through pioneering science and its clinical translation by building long-term relationships with scientists and entrepreneurs. BIVF’s focus is to target unprecedented therapeutic concepts addressing high medical needs in immuno-oncology, regenerative medicine, AMR infections and digital health. These may include novel platform technologies to address so far undruggable targets or new biological entities.
BIVF takes an active role with its portfolio companies – delivering significant added value through its own extensive drug discovery, scientific and managerial expertise. BIVF has a volume of EUR 300 million, is represented with offices in Europe (Germany), USA (Boston and San Francisco) and China (Beijing and Hong Kong) and currently supervises a portfolio of 40 companies.
For more information, please visit: www.boehringer-ingelheim-venture.com