Pharma-backed start-up incubator launched
With INCATE a new public-private consortium was launched on 25 August to boost the development of new drugs and start-ups in the AMR space. Partners from the academic, industrial and public sectors are working together to accomplish this task.
The incubator called “INCubator for Antibacterial Therapies in Europe” (INCATE) aims at bridging the huge gap between basic research and industrial implementation of new antibacterial treatment options. “We actually see this partnership as an incubator in the sense that new ideas can be hatched”, explains Dr Timo Jäger, Managing Director of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) and thus one of the founding members of the cooperation. “Pooling our resources allows us to specifically promote promising approaches and support spin-offs in this area.”
In addition to the DZIF, the academic founding members also include the research association InfectControl in Germany, the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research AntiResist and the University of Basel. Together with four pharma companies (Boehringer Ingelheim, Roche, Shionogi and a fourth one to be announced soon) and other organizations, they want to ensure that the pipeline of new antibiotics is filled and strengthened. Expert advice, building of a community supporting ventures´ development and targeted funding are the three tools with which INCATE aims to achieve this goal.
Initially, the consortium will focus on therapeutics, but applications in better diagnostics and other valuable tools that help to reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are welcome. INCATE is open to other organizations that want to support this goal. “Besides expert advice and mentoring, we will offer a first funding of 10,000 Euros in the first stage, but will provide up to 250,000 Euros in the second stage”, Douglas Häggström, Community Manager of INCATE said during the AMR Conference – Summer Edition. A first round of application will be started in autumn, and first selected candidates will be announced by the end of 2021.