Omnix Medical just raised an additional $8.5 million to bring its promising AMR (antimicrobial resistance) drug, OMN6, for the treatment of hospital-acquired infections, to clinical trials. This brings Omnix’s total investment to $ 10 million. The funding round was led by Tal Capital and Entrée Capital, with participation by the CBG Group, Xenia Ventures, VLX Ventures, and sweetened with a $ 750,000 grant from the Israel Innovation Authority.
The current round of funding will enable Omnix to submit their IND next year and allow them to start clinical trials with humans by late 2021. Dr Niv Bachnoff, co-founder and CSO at Omnix Medical, expects to finish the clinical trials by 2025. Omnix Medical has successfully completed testing in animals that proved the effectiveness and safety of its solution.
Modern medicine relies on antibiotics. Half of all hospitalized patients receive at least one antibiotic on a given day, 25% take two or more. Yet, AMR is rapidly spreading around the globe rendering many antimicrobial drugs useless. AMR is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time. Each year in the U.S., at least 2.8 million people get an antibiotic-resistant infection, and more than 35,000 people die. In the European Union, 25,000 people died to antibiotic resistance. Patients with AMR have 2-3 times higher mortality and risk of complications. This has serious implications for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic where the high level of mortality of critically ill COVID-19 patients is due to the AMR pneumonia.
Inspired by the innate immune system of insects, employing a strategy that has been proven very efficient for 250 million years, Omnix Medical is developing an arsenal of novel AMR agents targeting multidrug-resistant bacteria. The company’s lead drug – OMN6 – is an antimicrobial peptide for the treatment of A.baumannii, an ESKAPE pathogen. OMN6 is effective where standard of care drugs fail. It is highly effective against Resistant Gram(-) bacteria. OMN6 is expected to shorten hospitalization time and reduce additional healthcare costs. Omnix Medical is looking for a strategic partner from the global pharmaceutical industry to bring OMN6 rapidly to market.
“Insects don’t have our immune system,” stated VLX Ventures greenhouse CEO Ori Choshen, asking “how is it that an insect can land on a dead cow, start eating, and not catch any infections?”
The reason is insects can secrete a peptide from their mews that perforates the cell membranes of any infections that might seek to do them harm, which kills them.
“This is such a rapid process, a germ doesn’t have time to adapt to it and mutate into a peptide-resistance strain,” Choshen explains. “This is a huge game-changer.”
Omnix Medical started off at the VLX Ventures incubator, which invested in the company with the Israel Innovation Authority when it had little more than an idea.
“The completion of the funding round allows the company to progress in a professional and safe manner towards the next stage of developing the drug – the clinical trials, and to bring to the market groundbreaking and life-saving technology,” said Cohen-Kutner.
“We adopted a natural technology which has proven itself as being very effective in destroying germs for 200 million years,” added Bachnoff. “We improved it with Omnix Medical‘s unique engineering in order to develop it into an innovative antibiotic and life-saving drug.”
About Omnix Medical
Founded in 2015, Omnix Medical is a pre-clinical private company dedicated to the development and commercialization of highly effective antibiotic agents against resistant pathogenic bacteria. Omnix Medical has raised $10 M to date from VCs, government grants and private capital. Omnix Medical is developing a novel IV medication for the treatment of life-threatening hospital-acquired infections. Omnix Medical technology employs unique and fast-acting peptides exerting a bactericidal effect, making it very difficult for bacteria to develop tolerance or resistance. The company’s strategy to combat bacteria may serve to circumvent the development of antimicrobial resistance and may offer a treatment where therapeutic options are scarce.
Omnix Medical‘s agents have been granted QIDP (Qualified Infectious Disease Product) designation by the FDA and are eligible for Breakthrough-Therapy status. This allows FDA Fast Track Designation during the drug development.
For further information, contact Moshik Cohen Kutner, CEO moshik at omnixmedical.com
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