17.12.2019 – 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.
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)