Smartbax GmbH raises €1.2 million in funding

24 May 2023

Smartbax GmbH raises €1.2 million in funding

Antibiotic developer Smartbax GmbH plans to use newly raised €1.2 million in seed funding to further develop antibiotics against resistant bacteria.

The €0.7 million pre-seed investment made when Smartbax GmbH was founded is now being increased to €1.9 million by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fonds and High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF).

CEO Dr. Robert Macsics and his co-founders and advisors - series founder Marco Janezic and Prof. Dr. Stephan Sieber of the Technical University of Munich - plan to use the money to preclinically develop a sorafinib-like multikinase inhibitor (PK150) and inhibitor of demethylmenaquinone methyltransferase against methicillin-resistant S. aureus. The inhibitor is designed to modulate the activity of the signal peptidase SpsB such that secreted proteins boost autophagy.

"We also see activity against vancomycin-resistant enterococci, which we think is particularly promising," Mascics said. "The candidate is originally derived from the drug sorafenib, but in the course of medicinal chemistry optimizations, we have come quite far from the original scaffold and are still optimizing the structure. The targets are blocking menaquinone biosynthesis by inhibiting the enzyme MenG and stimulating protein secretion by activating the signal peptidase SpsB"

Founded in 2021, the company has won the BMBF's VIP+ Validation Award and the m4 Award funded by the Bavarian State Government.