Madam Therapeutics closes first financing round to develop novel antibiotics against drug resistant bacteria
Madam Therapeutics closed its first financing round of 1,1M EUR. The biotech company develops a novel class of antibiotics inspired by the defense mechanisms of the human body. The new funding will be used to continue and accelerate the clinical development of Madam Therapeutics’ lead candidate SAAP-148, by executing a first-in-men proof of concept study starting early next year and preparation of the following clinical phase II trial. The investment comes from a network of European business angels facilitated by Ekoy Investment Partners, De Investeerders Club and Investormatch.
Lead candidate: SAAP-148
When a small subset of bacteria survives antibiotic treatment e.g. by mutations, an infection can get out of control fast. As these resilient microbes thrive, they can group together on a surface—like a wound or a medical device—and encase themselves in a slimy protective layer known as a biofilm. Such biofilm infections “are the really nasty things for patients,” says immunologist Peter Nibbering at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands with whom Madam Therapeutics closely collaborates.
Madam Therapeutics and a team of esteemed Dutch scientists from o.a. Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and Amsterdam Medical Center(AMC) have developed a new antibiotic with improved characteristics to fight a broad spectrum of infections. In a recent editorial comment on the new compound on the website of the scientific journal Science, Dr Kim Lewis, a microbiologist at Northeastern University in Boston says that the candidate adds “an important piece … to the puzzle of creating a perfect antibiotic”.
Dr. Remko van Leeuwen, CEO of Madam Therapeutics, comments on this first financing round: “Most of the antibiotic drugs currently in the worldwide clinical pipeline are modifications of existing classes of antibiotics and are only short-term solutions. Antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency. There is an urgent need for more research and development for antibiotic-resistant infections, otherwise people will die from very simple infections”. Remko van Leeuwen is thrilled to welcome the group of investors to Madam Therapeutics. “The recent investment clearly represents a growing commitment and understanding from the investment community to the development of new antimicrobial agents and reflects the potential of our drug programs.”
Jaap Wieling, a spokesmen of the investor group says: “This funding will allow Madam Therapeutics to take important steps forward with its lead candidate SAAP-148. Where most traditional antibiotics have a slow acting mechanism of action, SAAP-148 kills the bacteria very fast by attacking them directly from the outside, puncturing the cell membrane and make it deflate. Now with the backing of this solid investor base, the seasoned team will be able to explore the full potential of its technology”.
Ron Byron, Partner at Ekoy invest that helped to successfully put together the investment group says: “From my experience in marketing of antibiotics, I am very much aware of growing need for new antibiotics. Unless antibacterial development is re-energised, there is a serious risk that a growing proportion of infections, especially in hospitals, will become effectively untreatable leading to many unnecessary casualties.”