Glox Therapeutics, situated in Glasgow and dedicated to developing precise antibiotic treatments centered on naturally derived bacteriocins, has successfully raised £4.3 million (around €4.93 million) in its initial seed funding round.
Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) and Scottish Enterprise spearheaded the investment.
Advancing Targeted Protein-Based Antibiotics
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a critical global health issue, causing an estimated 1.27 million deaths each year due to ineffective antibiotic therapies. Forecasts suggest that by 2050, AMR might lead to more than 10 million annual deaths, incurring costs of $100 trillion. There’s a pressing need to create new, potent antimicrobial treatments.
Uzma Khan, Vice Principal of Economic Development and Innovation at the University of Glasgow, states, “Bacteriocins provide the specificity required to combat pathogens that have developed resistance to existing medications.”
“Our innovative approach, created in partnership with the University of Oxford, overcomes traditional challenges in utilizing bacteriocins for therapeutic purposes. We’re eager to see Glox Therapeutics take this forward in the development of antimicrobials for Gram-negative bacteria.”
Glox Therapeutics is focused on crafting precise antibiotics through engineered protein bacteriocins. These antimicrobials are designed to target Gram-negative bacteria, including resistant varieties like Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae.
Bacteriocins, naturally occurring in bacteria, possess specific antimicrobial capabilities. Glox Therapeutics’ goal is to revolutionize antimicrobial therapy by using bacteriocins to selectively eradicate pathogens while conserving the patient’s microbiome.
This method seeks a more balanced and effective treatment approach with fewer side effects, tackling the issue of antibiotic resistance.
Glox Therapeutics plans to allocate the raised funds towards setting up laboratories in Oxford and Glasgow, which will significantly advance its bacteriocin development program.
The company is concentrating on creating specific therapeutics to combat antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria and intends to grow its team and expedite its research initiatives.
Dr. James Clark, CEO of Glox Therapeutics, remarks, “This initial funding round reflects the potential of our precision antibiotic therapies, and we are excited to have the support of such esteemed investors.”
“This investment will allow us to establish state-of-the-art laboratories, recruit leading experts in the field, and I am enthusiastic about leading our team as we initiate our groundbreaking bacteriocin development program, starting with P. aeruginosa as our primary target.”
About the Glox Therapeutics Team
Established in 2023, Glox Therapeutics is spearheaded by distinguished experts in the bacteriocin arena, including Prof Daniel Walker from the University of Strathclyde and Prof Colin Kleanthous from the University of Oxford.
Dr. James Clark, who assumed the role of CEO in April 2023, contributes his extensive 25-year background in precision medicine. His experience includes notable achievements in the development and commercialization of diagnostic and therapeutic products at organizations like PredictImmune, EnteroBiotix, Inivata, Enterome, MDxHealth, and GSK.
Dr. Clark comments, “Our goal is to equip doctors and patients with highly effective, targeted antimicrobial treatments that are capable of eliminating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, for which treatment options are increasingly limited.”
Prof Chas Bountra, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Innovation at the University of Oxford, observes, “There is a widening agreement that future antibiotics should be narrow-spectrum agents, designed to specifically target pathogenic AMR bacteria while sparing the broader human microbiome, which is essential for our health and well-being.”
“Glox Therapeutics’ potent treatments represent a long-awaited breakthrough in addressing the critical healthcare challenges posed by antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.”
About the Lead Investors
Established in 2010, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) supports pioneering companies advancing biomedical research. The fund is committed to enhancing patient care by developing enduring partnerships with researchers and entrepreneurs.
BIVF focuses on revolutionary ideas in fields like immuno-oncology, regenerative medicine, infectious diseases, and digital health, aiming to meet significant healthcare demands.
Scottish Enterprise, serving as Scotland‘s primary economic development agency under the auspices of the Scottish Government, plays a key role in driving economic progress. It aids businesses in innovation, growth, and exploring new markets by providing strategic investments and fostering international expansion.