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Current drugs against mycoses are toxic. We aim to develop a new class of antifungal agents that disarm the invasive forms of fungal cells instead of merely eradicating them. This has two advantages: The new compounds are less aggressive for the host and resistance development is reduced.

Alarming increase in fungal infections

Due to increasing numbers of immunosuppressed individuals in hospitals the incidences of life-threatening fungal infections has increased concomitantly. Particularly patients with surgery, transplantation and cancer are at high risk to acquire invasive fungal infections that cause more than one million deaths every year worldwide (Kim JY, J Microbiol, 2016).

Current fungal therapy is limited, since only a few classes of antifungal agents exist whereby many of those exhibit considerable toxic side effects. In addition, resistant fungal strains emerge which can evade treatment by commonly used drugs. The situation illustrates the urgent need for new classes of antifungal agents with high efficacy and low toxicity at the same time.

Our Solution

We provide substances that instead of merely eradicating all fungal cells block their virulence characteristics, and thereby prevent harm to the patient. Our less aggressive substances have the advantages that toxic side effects can be minimized, as well as resistance development is reduced. Fungal microbes attacked by our product are forced into benign growth and thus selective pressure, the driving force for resistance development is minimized.

Competitive Advantages

Current antifungal therapy has a limited range of molecular targets and only few companies are engaged in the production of these drugs. Nevertheless, the global market for antifungal drugs in 2015 was analyzed for 6.82 billion US dollars with an annual increase of 0.1-0.2 billion US dollars. Conclusively, prices for antifungal drugs are relatively high. It is therefore our aim to provide a less-aggressive, less toxic product with high efficacy at a competitive prize.

Current Status

We performed a need analysis for our product with interview partners from clinics and pharma industry. The need for new antifungals was confirmed in an overwhelming manner. We are currently investigating two compound classes with high efficacy in vitro and develop these further according to the performed need analysis and more industry-oriented need analyses to come.

We will use the gathered information to formulate a targeted product profile, identify industry-approved animal infection models and commence with IPR as well as founding of a company.

UBI Incubation Phase

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Contact Information

Umeå Biotech Incubator
Tvistevägen 48
907 36 Umeå
Sweden
Constantine Urban
Co-owner
Marios Stylianou
Co-owner
Christian Hedberg
Co-owner
Maria Nelson
Project manager