Glasgow-based Glox Therapeutics, a company that aims to advance its precision antibiotic therapies, focusing on naturally occurring bacteriocins, has secured £4.3M (approximately €4.93M) in a seed round of funding.
Developing precision protein antibiotics
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a global health crisis, causing an estimated 1.27 million deaths annually due to antibiotic therapeutic failures. Projections indicate that by 2050, AMR could result in over 10 million deaths per year, costing $100T. The urgent imperative is to develop new and effective antimicrobial therapeutics.
Uzma Khan, Vice Principal of Economic Development and Innovation, at the University of Glasgow, says, “Bacteriocins offer the precision needed to target pathogens resistant to current treatments.”
“Our novel platform, developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford, circumvents problems traditionally associated with using bacteriocins as therapeutics. We look forward to seeing the company carry this forward to help deliver Gram-negative antimicrobial drugs.”
Glox Therapeutics is developing precision antibiotics using engineered protein bacteriocins. These antimicrobials target Gram-negative pathogens, including antibiotic-resistant strains like Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae.
Bacteriocins, naturally produced by bacteria, offer targeted antimicrobial properties. Glox Therapeutics aims to advance antimicrobial therapy by leveraging bacteriocins to selectively eliminate pathogens while preserving patient microbiomes.
This strategy aims for a more balanced and effective treatment with reduced side effects, addressing the challenge of antibiotic resistance.
Glox Therapeutics will use the funds to establish laboratories in Oxford and Glasgow, facilitating the enhancement of its bacteriocin development programme.
The company’s focus is on developing targeted therapeutics to address antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, with plans to expand its team and accelerate research efforts.
Dr James Clark, CEO at Glox Therapeutics says, “This seed funding is a testament to the promise of Glox Therapeutics’ precise antibiotic therapies, and we are thrilled to have the backing of such high-calibre investors.”
“This will enable us to establish laboratories and attract top-tier talent, and I’m delighted to lead the team as we embark on our pioneering bacteriocin development programme, with the first target being P. aeruginosa.”
Glox Therapeutics team
Founded in 2023, Glox Therapeutics is led by recognised leaders in the bacteriocin field including Prof Daniel Walker from the University of Strathclyde and Prof Colin Kleanthous from the University of Oxford.
Dr. James Clark, appointed as CEO in April 2023, brings 25 years of experience in precision medicine, with a track record in developing and commercialising diagnostic and therapeutic products at companies such as PredictImmune, EnteroBiotix, Inivata, Enterome, MDxHealth, and GSK.
Dr James Clark says, “Our mission is to provide physicians and patients with highly potent, targeted antimicrobial therapies that can kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria for which there are diminishing options available for treatment.”
Prof Chas Bountra, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Innovation, University of Oxford says, “There is a growing consensus that the next generation of antibiotics should be narrow-spectrum therapeutics, able to target specific pathogenic AMR bacteria without collateral damage to the wider human microbiome, which is so vital to our health and wellbeing.”
“Glox Therapeutics’ high-potency therapies offer the long-awaited solution to address these urgent unmet medical needs in tackling treatment-resistant bacterial infections.”
Brief about the lead investors
BIVF, founded in 2010, backs innovative companies to drive biomedical research. The firm seeks improvements in patient care by fostering long-term relationships with scientists and entrepreneurs.
BIVF concentrates on groundbreaking concepts in immuno-oncology, regenerative medicine, infectious diseases, and digital health to address critical medical needs.
Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s national economic development agency, operating under the Scottish Government. It facilitates economic transformation by supporting businesses in innovation, scaling, and pursuing new market opportunities through targeted investment and internationalisation efforts.