Company News: Omnix Medical Wins €10.8M in EIC Accelerator Funding
— Novel class of anti-infectives fighting hospital-associated infections and multi-drug resistant bacteria
— Lead program OMN6 to be advanced to proof-of-concept in humans
— Antonius Schuh appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors
Omnix Medical, a Jerusalem-based biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation anti-infectives for the treatment of life-threatening infections, has been awarded €10.8 million in EU funding under the EIC Accelerator Programme. The award will speed up Omnix Medical’s groundbreaking work in the fight against antimicrobial resistance based on peptides used by insects to fight bacteria.
Specifically, the funding secures the advancement of Omnix Medical’s lead compound OMN6 through Phase I and II clinical trials. OMN6 is a novel antimicrobial peptide for treating life-threatening infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria. The compound is currently in IND-enabling studies and has so far demonstrated high efficacy in killing drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria.
The novel agents developed by Omnix Medical are designed as an alternative to classical antibiotics. Instead of targeting chemical or biological bacterial pathways, they physically destroy the membrane of bacteria regardless of existing resistances, leading to an immediate breakdown of the electrical and electrochemical potentials of the bacterial membrane. Preclinical data show they are significantly more potent than currently available antibiotics. Moreover, their unique mode of action prevents the development of new resistances to Omnix Medical´s compounds. Omnix has successfully completed animal-model experiments that proved efficacy and safety.
“We are very proud about the funding,” said Dr. Moshik Cohen-Kutner, CEO of Omnix Medical. “It is an important recognition of our unique approach to treat life-threatening, drug-resistant infections. The funding allows us to advance our lead compound OMN6 through clinical proof-of-concept studies. As we have already seen very promising preclinical data, we are confident that our approach will eventually provide an urgently needed, safe and effective solution for the treatment of patients with otherwise uncurable, potentially lethal infections.”
Widespread misuse and overuse of antibiotics has led to the emergence of bacteria that are resistant to last-line defense drugs. The WHO warns that “antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. New resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases. … Without urgent action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill.” [https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/antibiotic-resistance]
Today, modern medicine is entirely dependent on the ability to eliminate bacteria with antibiotic drugs. Omnix Medical is targeting a huge and constantly growing antibiotics market with $45B annual sales and alarmingly few solutions against the spread of resistance.
So far, Omnix Medical has secured a total of €20 million, among others from venture capital firms Tal Capital, Entrée Capital, the CBG Group, Xenia Ventures, and VLX Ventures. Moreover, the Company has further strengthened its Board of Directors with the appointment of Dr. Antonius Schuh, Managing Partner at Global Source Ventures, as Chairman of the BoD in November 2020.
About European Innovation Council Pilot
The Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot, part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 funding program for research and innovation, aims to support top-class innovators, start-ups, small companies and researchers with bright ideas that are radically different from existing products, services or business models, are highly risky and have the potential to scale up internationally.
Last year, the European Commission has selected 38 of Europe’s most promising start-ups and SMEs to receive funding of between €1 and €17 million to develop and scale up ground-breaking innovations in Europe. This is the last round of funding in the pilot phase of the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator which received over 4200 applications, the highest number ever. For more information visit https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/european-innovation-council-pilot-eu176-million-38-start-ups-and-smes-set-shape-future-2020-dec-18_en
About Omnix Medical
Omnix Medical was founded on 2015 to address the urgent need for new life-saving antibiotics. Omnix´ proprietary technology eliminates bacteria by mimicking the innate immune system of insects which is using unique molecules to efficiently and selectively kill resistant bacteria strains without toxic effects. This mechanism which kills bacteria upon contact, has endured for over 200 million years and is the core of Omnix´ technology. The Company’s lead compound is being developed for the treatment of life-threatening hospital-acquired infections via systemic IV-administration. It targets superbugs, such as Gram-negative, multidrug-resistant pathogens which belong to the so-called ESKAPE bacteria group, the most serious and urgent threats to public health.