R&D for precision medicine in infectious diseases, an investment with social impact

ABAC Therapeutics was founded in 2014 with the aim of discovering and developing new antibacterial agents with a new perspective focused on precision medicine. The research is focused on the discovery of antibiotics with specific activity against pathogenic bacteria that cause infections in humans. Domingo Gargallo-Viola, co-founder and CEO of the company, assures that «we try to follow the evolution that the world of oncology had been following until now», that is, to apply precision medicine to the treatment of infectious diseases. With this, ABAC aspires to provide great value to society, reduce the harmful clinical and economic impact derived from the selection of multi-resistant bacteria that arise as a result of the indiscriminate and non-specific use currently made of antibiotics.

He and his team embarked on an innovative and disruptive project with a clear objective: to add value and improve people’s quality of life. The idea was structured around a pharmacological strategy based on a new algorithm that allowed them to discover specific antibacterials capable of effectively combating infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria, immune to available antibiotics. «Of our body weight, about 1 kg are bacteria, which are not only not pathogenic, but are great allies of our body,» says Domingo.

For this reason, the objective of ABAC is to discover antibiotics that selectively eliminate pathogenic bacteria, respecting the microbiome, which fulfills a protective function and is necessary to carry out many vital functions of our body. “With our new therapeutic approach, what is achieved is to protect the microbiome and very significantly reduce the generation of resistant bacteria. With a long-term vision, we extend the useful life of the compounds and therefore their value from a commercial point of view in the future”.

With the pandemic, society as a whole has become aware of the need to invest in and strengthen the health sector, of the importance of research, and the commitment to new solutions that favor the development of disruptive projects, we cannot remember the health and hospitals only when we need them”, says the executive director of this company. «We have realized that without health there is no development and without new therapeutic options we will not be able to face the current and future challenges presented by pathogens,» says Domingo, «and in our case we have taken on the exciting challenge of researching and develop new antibiotics based on modern precision medicine”.

The vision of ABAC Therapeutics is very broad and with great aspirations, so much so that in 2021 they are exploring alliances with strategically important areas from the epidemiological point of view such as India or South Africa, establishing links with groups in the same sector to promote research and put a stop to the devastating effect of infectious diseases, which according to the World Health Organization, pose one of the greatest threats to Global Health in the 21st century. If any positive aspect can be extracted from this health crisis, it is the awareness on the part of public administrations, private entities and, in general, society, for being more interested in what is currently happening in the field of health and account of the importance of committing to R&D&i in this field.

This crisis has promoted familiarization with concepts that were previously only used in a scientific environment, something extremely positive due to the support that society is receiving directly and indirectly. But not only that, but this crisis has promoted that science and researchers are even on the front page of many media, and that society listens and greatly respects the contribution and contribution of scientists to the challenges that directly affect the citizens.

R&D&i should continue to be at the forefront of society”, indicates Domingo, “since its support is key so that companies like ABAC continue to take on challenges and future scientific and technological development is fundamental.” “Administrations and private entities have to bear the responsibility of being visionaries and responding to problems such as the one we are experiencing and generating the means to effectively tackle others that may come in the future”, comments this doctor in microbiology and parasitology with more than 30 years of experience in the discovery and development of anti-infective drugs. As if the numbers of people dying from antibiotic-resistant bacteria were not already dangerous today, it launches a much more disturbing figure, such as the forecast of reaching around 10 million deaths from this cause in the year 2050.

Kaudal has provided the company with a means of private financing that has provided them with a new alternative to continue researching highly innovative projects that entail a great effort in R&D, such as the one they have developed thanks to the Technological Patronage tool, a project focused on implementing precision medicine in anti-infective treatments. Kaudal is a company that is committed to R+D+i and that facilitates the development processes of the ideas that are to be carried out. But if there is a value that stands out about his deal with Kaudal, it is «the motivation they have for betting on disruptive projects that, after all, are those that have a high impact on society and that require the accompaniment of a a trusted partner that provides what you need at all times”.

As an agent of the R&D ecosystem, Kaudal continues to bet on attracting private resources to relevant projects in all sectors of activity and very specifically in sectors that have research and development in their DNA, such as the biomedicine sector, and for this, it has created a program of calls launched last March, Orbita.k. The purpose of Orbita.k is to identify impact projects to promote them through Technological Patronage – a collaborative private investment instrument based on tax incentives applicable to R&D&i that channels non-refundable private resources towards R&D projects. D and technological innovation.

In the last three years, Kaudal has promoted more than 155 Technological Sponsorship projects, worth more than 200 million euros, its aspiration is that entrepreneurs and companies can carry out their projects in an agile way, accompanied by a close partner and trustworthy, and with the necessary certainty to tackle their projects. This article was published in several Spanish Newspapers such as Dirari de Girona, LaVanguardia and El Periodico. An article about the support provided by Kaudal was also published in Planta Doce.