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One Platform to Conquer All - The Future of Drug Development with Invitris

  • Phage therapy offers a promising solution to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, where traditional production methods are limited.
  • Invitris' "Phactory" platform uses cell-free expression to create phages and other drugs outside of living cells, offering a faster and more efficient method.
  • Having participated in Nucleate and Y Combinator, Invitris advances its technology potentially revolutionizing phage therapy for personalized treatment of bacterial infections.

Multi-resistant germs are regarded as one of the largest threats to health by The World Health Organization (WHO).  In the European Union alone, 33,000 deaths are caused by bacterial infections that cannot be treated with antibiotics.

The one promising solution to this is Bacteriophages, natural enemies of bacteria, a phenomenon that offers a shadow of hope in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Scientists have looked into the potential of bacteriophages or phages for decades, think of them as viruses that act like tiny assassins, targeting and killing specific bacteria, but phage therapy has its limitations.

However, with recent advancements, these difficulties seem to be diminishing giving way to cell-free phage production techniques.

One such company paving the way for a future where a broader range of phages can be readily available is Invitris.

One Platform to Synthesize Them All

Invitiris, a Munich-based biotech company, was founded by Patrick Grossmann and  Kilian Vogele to reform drug development, specifically against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Their weapon of choice? Bacteriophages, or phages – viruses that naturally target and kill specific bacteria.

The challenge that traditional phage therapy faces is in production. Culturing and storing phages proved difficult as it requires live bacteria. And so, producing them in a targeted, reproducible, safe, and efficient way was not possible.

This is where Invitris comes in. Their "Phactory" platform is a breakthrough. Using cell-free expression, they are developing protein-based drugs (including phages) from DNA, outside of living cells.

The platform boasts a 10,000x increase in efficiency and a 100x reduction in material costs compared to conventional methods.

Invitris hasn't limited itself to phages, its platform also creates novel proteins with entirely new mechanisms of action. Opening doors for a vast array of potential drugs.

While Invitris' primary focus is human therapeutics, they're also exploring industrial applications. Their technology utilizes prokaryotic cell-free expression currently, with advancements toward using eukaryotic systems in the future.

Invitris Secures Funding to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

The company received a notable boost in having been selected for Stage II funding by INCATE (Incubator for Antibacterial Therapies in Europe), Invitris received €250,000 to complete its spin-off from the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

This will assist in increasing the production of antimicrobial proteins, including phages, with Invitris's platform technology. This funding accentuates Invitirs's promising future, having already been selected for INCATE's Stage I program in 2022.

The potential impact on personalized medicine is one to look forward to, picture a future where a patient's specific bacterial infection can be quickly matched with a personalized phage cocktail produced by Invitris' Phactory platform.
Exciting isn't it?

Invitris is paving the way for a future by developing and commercializing its approach to fighting antibiotic resistance, potentially transforming phage therapy into a powerful tool against a wider array of bacterial infections.

Edited by Annette George