University spin-off creates solution to antibiotic resistance

Obulytix team

Obulytix, a spin-off based on research results from Ghent University and KU Leuven, has built a platform that creates new ways to tackle bacterial infections.

The phage lysin-based platform – using artificial intelligence (AI) – has attracted a significant €4 million investment from Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Qbic, and Gemma Frisius Fund.

Current estimates suggest that antibiotic-resistant bacteria could claim 10 million lives per year by 2050.

Obulytix has created a novel platform to develop enzymes from bacteria-killing viruses (bacteriophages) as a new way to tackle bacterial infections.

These phage lysins offer many advantages over traditional antibiotics: they are very powerful at killing bacteria, act quickly, and are much less likely to induce resistance.

Yves Briers, CEO of Obulytix & Professor at Ghent University, said: “We have created the most performant development platform to harness phage lysins and create a pipeline of different anti-infectives. This will allow us to tackle a range of bacterial diseases and react quickly to global health needs, including potential future pandemics.”

Obulytix focuses on tackling systemic infections in patients with life-threatening conditions using this new class of lysins. The platform has the potential to create solutions for all problematic bacteria, in particular gram-negative bacteria that make up the highest unmet medical need.

Niklas Czeloth, Executive Director and Investment Manager at Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, added: “Highly active phage lysins, like those being developed by Obulytix, align perfectly with BIVF’s strategy to invest in novel approaches to combat antimicrobial resistance. Obulytix’s cutting-edge, AI-assisted approach exemplifies the pioneering science that seamlessly aligns with our vision of advancing robust scientific principles from the laboratory to the patient’s bedside.”

Image: Obulytix’ co-founders Dennis Grimon, Maria Fonseca, Bjorn Criel and Yves Briers (from left to right).

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