Researchers from the Umea pharmaceutical research company Quretech Bio have been granted SEK 5 million by the Erling-Persson Family Foundation to make resistant bacteria sensitive to antibiotics again.
“We are delighted and extremely grateful. This money is vital in allowing us to continue conducting critical experiments” says Jörgen Johansson, Professor of Molecular Microbiology at Umeå University and Co-founder of Quretech Bio.
Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a growing problem and can lead to certain medicines becoming ineffective. Quretech Bio, which operates from the Umeå Biotech Incubator, wants to combat this problem by developing new medicines that either disarm bacteria instead of killing them or amplifies the effect of existing antibiotics.
Now, thanks to an application by Jörgen Johansson, researchers at Quretech Bio have been awarded SEK 5 million from the Erling-Persson Family Foundation.
“It is an academic grant to study a new class of small molecules that can make antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as VRE and MRSA, sensitive to antibiotics again,” says Jörgen Johansson, who is also a Quretech Bio board member.
“The money means we can intensify our studies into this important project, which so far has been run with limited funds.”
Quretech Bio is currently working on three parallel projects: one that develops solutions for acute infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA and VRE, one for tuberculosis and one for chlamydia.
"These are major diseases - which affect millions of patients - and they are well suited to our medicines," says Fredrik Almqvist, CEO of Quretech Bio and Professor in Organic Chemistry at Umeå University.
Researchers at Quretech Bio have already identified substances that have shown positive effects in difficult-to-treat disease models. The new grant means researchers can develop the properties of these antibacterial substances even further - and verify their effectiveness.
“In addition we can find out the exact mechanism for how they work. The money we’re receiving now is crucial for us to carry out these critical experiments, ”says Jörgen Johansson.
The grant, he says, has come at the perfect time, with Quretech Bio currently being in an expansion phase.
“We are actively looking for new partners who want to be part of the exciting journey we have ahead of us.”
This summer Quretech Bio was awarded an EU Horizon 2020 grant of EUR 50,000. The application received high marks after being assessed.
“It means a lot to get an assessment of the company by external experts, and the high points we were awarded show that they think we are worth investing in. Antibiotic resistance is a global problem and we have come a long way in the process of developing new alternatives to combat resistant bacteria that cause disease. The EU grant and the money from the Erling-Persson Family Foundation will allow us to continue our work,” concludes Fredrik Almqvist.
About Quretech Bio:
Quretech Bio is a Swedish pharmaceutical development company that addresses a significant medical need by developing a new class of antibacterial agents that target antimicrobial resistance. Quretech Bio’s vision is to develop first-line medicines to combat infectious diseases and the occurrence of antibiotic resistance, establishing itself as a leading pharmaceutical discovery company in its field.
For more information contact:
Fredrik Almqvist, PhD
Quretech Bio Co-Founder and CEO
+46 70-397 90 97
Jörgen Johansson, PhD
Quretech Bio Co-Founder and Board Member
+46 76-107 39 47
Umeå Biotech Incubator (UBI) is one of Sweden’s state-of-the-art business incubators within the life sciences. We help researchers to use their data to the benefit of patients and citizens, improving their health. We support and train entrepreneurs in the fields of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and medical engineering, and act as a bridge between academia, medicine and the business community.