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. As Domingo Gargallo-Viola, co-founder and CEO of the company says, “We try to follow the evolution that the world of oncology had been following until now,” i.e., to apply precision medicine to the treatment of infectious diseases. By doing this, ABAC aspires to add great value to society and 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. “About 1 kg off our body weight is made up of bacteria, which are not only non-pathogenic, but great allies of our body,” says Domingo.

For this reason, ABAC’s objective 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. “Our new therapeutic approach allows us to protect the microbiome and very significantly reduce the generation of resistant bacteria. Through a long-term vision, we extend the useful life of the compounds and hence 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 think of 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,” he adds, “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 in 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 society in general about taking a greater interest  in what is currently going on in the field of health and 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, which is extremely positive due to the support that society is receiving directly and indirectly. But not only that; this crisis has allowed science and researchers to make the headlines in many media, and made society listen and respect the contribution of scientists to the challenges that directly affect citizens.

R&D&i must remain at the forefront of society,” says Domingo, “Since its support is key, it is essential for  companies like ABAC continue to take on challenges and future scientific and technological development.” “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 arise in the future,” says 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 today were not already enough, it poses a much more disturbing problem; 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 offered them a new alternative to continue researching highly innovative projects that entail 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 an entity committed to R&D&i that facilitates the development processes of the ideas that are to be put into practice. But if there is one value that stands out about the deal with Kaudal, it is “Their motivation in committing to disruptive projects which, after all, are those that have a high impact on society and require the support of a trusted partner who provides what you need at all times”.

As an agent of the R&D ecosystem, Kaudal continues to put its faith in attracting private resources to relevant projects in all sectors of activity and in particular,  in sectors that have research and development in their DNA, such as the biomedicine sector-. For this reason, it has created Orbita.k, a calls program that was launched last March. The purpose of Orbita.k is to identify impact projects in order 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&i projects. 

In the last three years, Kaudal has promoted more than 155 Technological Sponsorship projects worth more than 200 million euros. It aspires to allowing entrepreneurs and companies to carry out their projects rapidly, accompanied by a trustworthy partner and with the necessary certainty of tackling their projects. This article was published in several Spanish Newspapers such as Diari de GironaLaVanguardia and El Periódico. An article about the support provided by Kaudal was also published in Planta Doce.