PerioTrap Pharmaceuticals, an i&i Prague Supported Start-up, Raises €3M Seed Round to Develop Selective Anti-infectives to Tackle Periodontitis
Although periodontitis represents a widespread infectious disease affecting around 30% of the global population, there is no effective treatment for patients available, yet. PerioTrap Pharmaceuticals, a Fraunhofer IZI spin-off, has developed a novel treatment strategy that allows the specific eradication of the major bacterial pathogens of periodontitis and therefore the root of the disease. With the help of bmp Ventures AG via the IBG-Fonds, i&i Prague, Fraunhofer Venture and a strategic partner, the biotech company further proceeds its drug development programs.
A world without effective antibiotics becomes an increasingly realistic scenario. Worldwide, 700,000 people annually die of multi-resistant strains against which no antibiotic is effective. There are only few new developments while many of the major pharmaceutical companies have completely abandoned the anti-infective field. The expensive development and the prospect of a drug that can be used solely restrictively seem to make the antibiotics business model unattractive. The valuable reserves that are still available are, therefore, being used even more sparingly. Based on the current austerities caused by a global viral pandemic, the future projections of this solo-economic driven development materialize at a great pace.
With its new drug and innovative application procedure, PerioTrap Pharmaceuticals GmbH could not only drastically reduce the need for antibiotics. Additionally, with its selective mechanism that targets the major pathogens directly at the site of infection – the oral cavity – chronic conditions may be overcome while simultaneously reducing systemic side effects. The key element of this strategy is an enzyme called glutaminyl cyclase (QC) type II, which is exclusively present within pathogenic bacteria of the oral biofilm with Porphyromonas gingivalis being the main catalyst of the disease. The seed investment will be used for PerioTrap’s lead compound optimization and to progress its new prolonged-release pharmaceutical composition through clinical testing and to apply for subsequent market approval.
„We are looking forward to working with this experienced team of drug developers and to particularly make a contribution to such a socially relevant technology area in this financing round“.
Andreas van Bon, responsible managing partner at bmp Ventures AG
“Periodontitis constitutes a condition of high medical need for which on the contrary hasn’t been any innovation made available in the last decade. Consequently, this investment not only fuels the long neglected therapeutic market segment within the dental realm, but most importantly restores patient confidence.”
Pierre Tangermann, Managing Director at PerioTrap Pharmaceuticals
As a result of a pan-European project under the FP7 umbrella, PerioTrap is based on an international network and excellent science including the Institute of Microbiology at the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Prof. Jan Potempa), the Institute of Periodontology at the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Bern (Prof. Sigrun Eick) and the Pharmaceutical Technology Research Group at the Institute of Pharmacy at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (Prof. Karsten Mäder). This leading scientific network will be further expanded.
The IBG funds based in Magdeburg are the venture capital funds of the State of Saxony-Anhalt. The IBG funds provide equity capital to innovative companies with sustainable and above-average growth potential and a domicile/ operation in Saxony-Anhalt. At the beginning of 2017, IBG launched the new risk capital fund RKF III with a volume of EUR 84 million. The fund is financed by funds from the state and the European Union and invests in innovative companies in Saxony-Anhalt in the business phases of seed, start-up and growth. The IBG funds are managed by bmp Ventures AG.
With an experience background of over 250 investments from almost all technology segments, most of which are in the early stages, bmp is one of the most experienced venture capital investors in Germany. In addition to direct investments, bmp has also managed venture capital funds for KfW Bankengruppe and DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft. bmp currently manages the IBG funds in Saxony-Anhalt and the Frühphasenfonds Brandenburg. bmp has around 20 employees in Berlin and Magdeburg.
Fraunhofer Venture is the central department for spin-offs and investment management of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and offers founders, start-ups, Fraunhofer Institutes, industry, and investors access to the cutting-edge technologies of the 74 Fraunhofer Institutes, the Fraunhofer infrastructure and Fraunhofer know-how with over 7,000 patent families. The range of services includes complete support and consulting from the idea to the founding of a company, active participation management of Fraunhofer participations, support with finding investors up to a possible sale of the company and is flanked by the AHEAD company builder as well as other offerings.