Resistell AG has today closed an oversubscribed series A financing round led by OCCIDENT. TRUMPF Venture, Alpana Ventures, Zürcher Kantonalbank, HEMEX and seven private investors also back the start-up developing world’s fastest phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility test.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest global health challenges today. The emergence of multi-drug resistant pathogens has made it increasingly difficult to choose the right antibiotic in time for critically ill patients. As a result, physicians are frequently turning to broad-spectrum antibiotics to reduce the risk of administering non-effective drugs. Excessive use of these powerful medicines then triggers the development of multi-drug resistance. Unless we can halt this trend, the world faces a death toll of up to 10 million people per year by 2050.
To positively influence the outcome of antimicrobial treatment, it is essential to speedily determine which antibiotics the pathogen still responds to. The EPFL spin-off Resistell has been able to successfully achieve reliable antibiotic susceptibility results up to 100 times faster than conventional, culture-based methods. Resistell’s test is based on measurement of vibrations of living bacteria from the sample by using nanosensors. This reduces the time-to-result from several hours or days to less than two hours. Patients can be treated with the optimal medication from day one.
The need for rapid, antibiotic susceptibility tests is unquestionable. Some market analysts estimate the potential market size for these tests at CHF 4.5 billion in 2026 (Coherent Market Insights 2018).
Resistell AG was incorporated in April 2018 in Basel and in December 2018, after closing the seed financing round of CHF 850 000, the company moved to Muttenz, where it is currently located. The seed funding allowed for the completion of the pre-clinical set of data and brought the core technology to design freeze. The goal of the current milestone-based CHF 3.5 million series A round is to achieve CE-mark declaration for the first indication, blood stream infections.
“In this round it was very important for us to attract new institutional investors who on one hand will contribute to the strategic development of the company and on the other hand will be able to support us in the long run.” - said the CEO, Danuta Cichocka.
In the summer of 2019 the company together with the microbiology team led by Prof. Gilbert Greub at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) have also received funding for an Innosuisse Innovation project with a total budget of CHF 1.3 million. This Innosuisse grant will co-finance clinical trials at CHUV and enable validation of the technology for new indications, such as tuberculosis and chlamydia.
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OCCIDENT is an international, privately held investment company based in Zug and Munich, whose aim is to manage its own wealth in a sustainable, meaningful manner seeking to make a positive contribution to society through its investments.
OCCIDENT sees itself as a long-term oriented enabler for innovative start-ups and visionary founders. Its complementary team of experts is fascinated by technologically sound topics (deep tech) from the life sciences, digital and high-tech sectors with the potential to decisively improve people’s lives.
ABOUT TRUMPF VENTURE
The high-tech company TRUMPF offers production solutions in the machine tool, laser and electronics sectors. With our corporate venture capital arm TRUMPF Venture, we are both a strategic partner and a venture capital investor for startups with an industrial focus. The TRUMPF group has more than 14,000 employees in nearly all the countries of Europe, North and South America, and Asia and achieved sales of 3.8 billion euros in 2018/19.
ABOUT ALPANA VENTURES
Alpana Ventures focuses on early-stage investments in disruptive technologies. With operations in Geneva and the US, our unique investment model is to bridge Swiss & European startups to Silicon Valley.
ABOUT ZÜRCHER KANTONALBANK
Zürcher Kantonalbank is a leading universal bank in the Zurich economic area with national roots and international reach. It is an independent public-law institution owned by the canton of Zurich and has received top ratings from the rating agencies Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch (AAA/Aaa). With more than 5,000 employees, Zürcher Kantonalbank offers its clients a comprehensive range of products and services. The bank’s core activities include financing businesses, asset and wealth management, trading, capital market transactions, deposits, payment transactions and card business. Zürcher Kantonalbank provides clients and distribution partners with a comprehensive range of investment and retirement provision products and services.
HEMEX AG is a privately-owned swiss investment and consulting company headquartered close to the Basel global life sciences hub, with its main focus to bring innovative drugs, medical devices and in vitro diagnostics to the market. HEMEX specializes in supporting early-stage start-ups, offering tailored solutions to accelerate the project into a successful and sustainable business. Additionally, HEMEX helps start-ups in their efforts to find non-dilutive and dilutive funding.
Picture: The Resistell team: Dr. Amanda Luraschi (Clinical Microbiologist), Christèle Aubry (Microbiologist, PhD student in Innosuisse project), Grzegorz Gonciarz (COO), Piotr Grygo (Engineer), Dr. Grzegorz Wielgoszewski (Engineer), Dr. Danuta Cichocka (Founder and CEO), Michal Swiatkowski (Engineer) and Dr. Eric Delarze (Clinical Microbiologist)