PerioTrap Pharmaceuticals raises €3M seed round to develop selective anti-infectives to tackle periodontitis
Halle (Saale), 21.10.2020 – Although periodontitis is a widespread infectious disease affecting around 30% of the global population, there are currently no effective treatments available — yet. PerioTrap Pharmaceuticals, a Fraunhofer IZI spin-off, has developed a novel treatment strategy that works to specifically eradicate the major bacterial pathogens of periodontitis, thereby tackling the root cause of the disease. With the help of bmp Ventures AG (through the IBG-Fonds), i&i Prague, Fraunhofer Venture and a strategic partner, PerioTrap now plans to advance its drug development programs.
A world without effective antibiotics is becoming an increasingly realistic scenario. Every year, 700,000 people worldwide die of multi-resistant strains which cannot be treated with any of the existing antibiotics. The number of new developments is limited, and many of the major pharmaceutical companies have completely abandoned the field of anti-infectives. High development costs and the prospect of a drug that can be used only in restricted applications contribute to the unattractive reputation of the antibiotics business model. In turn, the valuable reserves that are still available are being used even more sparingly. The global viral pandemic has made it clear that we cannot continue to prioritize developments driven solely by commercial interests.
With its new drug and innovative application procedure, PerioTrap Pharmaceuticals GmbH could not only drastically reduce the need for antibiotics. The selective mechanism that targets the major pathogens directly at the site of infection – the oral cavity – means that chronic conditions can be overcome while reducing systemic side effects at the same time. The key element of this strategy is an enzyme called glutaminyl cyclase (QC) type II, which is exclusively present within pathogenic bacteria of the oral biofilm where Porphyromonas gingivalis is the main catalyst of the disease. The seed investment will be used to optimize PerioTrap’s lead compound and progress its new prolonged-release pharmaceutical composition through clinical testing in order to apply for subsequent market approval.
"We are looking forward to working with this experienced team of drug developers and to particularly make a contribution to such a socially relevant technology area in this financing round". (Andreas van Bon, responsible managing partner at bmp Ventures AG)
“Despite the medical demand for a solution, we have not seen any innovation in the treatment of periodontitis for over a decade. Consequently, this investment will not only fuel the long-neglected therapeutic market segment within the dental realm, but most importantly it will restore patient confidence.” (Pierre Tangermann, Managing Director at PerioTrap Pharmaceuticals)
As a result of a pan-European project under the FP7 umbrella, PerioTrap is based on an excellent international science network including the Institute of Microbiology at the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland (Prof. Jan Potempa), the Institute of Periodontology at the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Bern, Switzerland (Prof. Sigrun Eick) and the Pharmaceutical Technology Research Group at the Institute of Pharmacy at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany (Prof. Karsten Mäder). This leading scientific network will now be expanded further.