Original source: Diario Expansión. Gabriel Trinidade. Barcelona. 09/12/2015
The Ferrer group spin-off focuses his activity in the developing of specific antibiotics. They are working in a molecule to treat bacteria with high mortality rate.
Founded in the year 2015, ABAC Therapeutics is one of the most recent spinoffs from Ferrer Internacional. Mainly focused on the development of specific antibacterial medicines, they just entered on the final phases of their first drug against one of the most concerning pathogens in terms of antibiotics resistances: A. Baumanii. Using the momentum created by such announcement, ABAC Therapeutics is now looking for investors, opening a financial round of 3,5 million euros.
The Company is based in Esplugues de Llobregat (Barcelona) and is leaded by their CEOs Dr. Domingo Gargallo-Viola and Dr. Albert Palomer. Both of them are also shareholders, owning 20% of the company, while Ferrer owns the remaining 80%.
“In this financial round we want to take into account not only business angels, but we are also considering strategic partners and collaborators” says Dr.Gargallo-Viola. As a matter of fact, during the first weeks of February both CEOs were in India, where the project has generated many expectations amongst different potential investors. Currently undergoing, the financial round is set to close during the first trimester of 2016.
Aware of the big potential the idea behind ABAC Therapeutics had, Ferrer decided to place the project as a standalone spinoff, trusting the entrepreneurship of both Dr. Gargallo and Dr. Palomer and entitling them both as CEOs of the new company. As a separate entity, Abac Therapeutics could become more appealing to potential investors and obtain more capital.
ABAC is currently researching new antibiotics to treat serious diseases with no treatments. There is still a long way to go, as no significant advances have been reported during recent years. However, the rise of resistant bacteria is pressuring laboratories to find new alternatives.
“Till today, we are using broad spectrum antibacterials, i.e. effective against several pathogens” says Dr. Gargallo-Viola. This strategy has two main pitfalls: (i) eliminates the entire intestinal flora and (ii) contributes to the apparition of resistance against common treatments.
“In the future, antibacterial market will be the same as oncology treatments, offering personalized medicine focused on specific pathogens”
Nowadays, there are only a few companies in the world specialized in this area of research. However, in the last years big pharma have turned their focus onto this particular field. For example, Roche has made arrangements with two different startups: the Swiss Polyphor and the British Discuva.
ABAC therapeutics uses the PasNas platform. “It means one system to allow us to search the best compound to treat bacteria”, pointed Dr.Gargallo-Viola.
The company is near to announce the first preclinical candidate, the Ab 877. It is a molecule that affects Acinetobacter baumanii, one of the most problematic pathogen to deal with from the medical perspective. “is one of the bacteria with the highest mortality rate, reaching the 50% in the multiresistant strains”, says.
The compound has already attracted the interest of several international pharmaceutical groups.