smartbax raises €1.2 million to make next generation antibiotics
smartbax, a biotechnology company developing next-generation antibiotics against multidrug-resistant bacteria, today announced the close of an initial €1.2 million ($1.3 million) funding round from the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) and High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) , bringing Smartbax’s total equity raised to €1.9 million ($2.1 million).
The funds will be used to advance smartbax small molecule antibiotics through preclinical studies, expand the company’s scientific team to further develop its innovative research platform and identify new solutions against multidrug-resistant pathogens. In contrast to the classic anti-bacterial approach, the Smartbax product candidate acts via a unique dual target mechanism of action. It not only inhibits an important process in the energy metabolism of multi-resistant bacteria, but also creates a stimulation of bacterial protein secretion, leading to cell self-digestion.
“The increasing number of multidrug-resistant infections, which are responsible for 1.3 million annual deaths worldwide, highlights the need for entirely new approaches to treating resistant infections. We are confident that our differentiating approach can overcome the limitations of currently available antibiotics and thereby we can develop effective therapies against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria,” said Robert Macsics, CEO and co-founder of smartbax.
smartbax was founded in 2021 by Macsics, Marco Janezic, and Stephan Sieber, and is backed by BIVF with initial initial funding of €700,000 ($755,000). The company’s scientific foundation is based on research originating from the Sieber research group of the Technical University of Munich. This research was awarded the VIP+ validation prize by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and m4 award by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy.
“The new mechanism of action developed by smartbax can open new pathways in the treatment of severe bacterial infections. Moreover, the approach holds promise for overcoming existing resistance mechanisms and making the rapid spread of new resistance impossible,” said Angelika Vlachou, partner at HTGF.
“The development of new antibiotics is an important contribution to fighting multidrug-resistant bacterial infections. the smartbax founding team took a very innovative approach with wide applicability potential in various indications,” added Sebastian Kreuz, investment manager at BIVF.