Venture capital company Nascent Invest has bought shares in Umeå-based QureTech Bio as part of a targeted new share issue.
The multi-million SEK investment will provide long-term security for the Swedish life science company as it continues its work to discover and develop new solutions to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
“This investment means we can develop faster and take on more employees. As a result, we can get our medicines to market faster and hopefully save more lives,” says Fredrik Almqvist, CEO of QureTech Bio.
Not a locally based investor
QureTech Bio recently attracted investments of totally SEK 14.4 million. The majority came from the new co-owner Nascent Invest, while several existing co-owners including Nordiska Centrumhus increased their shareholdings.
“This is the first time we have welcomed an investor who is not based locally. We see significant advantages in bringing a company in from ‘the outside’, especially a company with experience of building other companies that is also committed in the long term. This move broadens our network and our new partner Nascent will also contribute invaluable business development expertise,” says Fredrik Almqvist. “This investment means that we can intensify the development of our projects and at the same time build a long-term company structure that makes us more efficient and successful.”
Three current projects
QureTech Bio is currently working on three projects aimed at treating tuberculosis, chlamydia and infections caused by antibiotic-resistant Gram-positive bacteria. QureTech Bio has developed new classes of substances with different mechanisms of action that can either function as traditional antibiotics, enhance the effect of existing antibiotics or disarm bacteria instead of killing them. QureTech Bio’s future vision is to contribute to more effective treatments for infectious diseases.
QureTech Bio was founded in 2010 to take exciting discoveries made within academic research and turn them into medicines that can save lives. In the early years the main focus was on securing patents, something which is a prerequisite for continued development. But following an investment from Nordiska Centrumhus in 2018, the company has concentrated on taking projects from the research stage and closer towards a pharmaceutical product.
“The future looks bright and we have so many things going on! The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified antibiotic resistance as a threat as equally serious as the climate crisis. That’s why it is so important to develop medicines that can address this problem. To put things into perspective, someone dies every 15 minutes in the United States due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, while globally 1.4 million people die of tuberculosis and more than 100 million people are treated for chlamydia each year. And that’s not to mention all the suffering tuberculosis, chlamydia and infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria cause patients and their loved ones,” says Fredrik Almqvist.
Funding from Swelife innovation programme
QureTech Bio has also recently been awarded millions in funding from the Swedish government’s Swelife innovation programme, as well as successfully secured a US patent for a tuberculosis treatment. The company, along with the researchers behind it, have received support from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Erling Persson Family Foundation, Umeå University, the Swedish Research Council, NIH, the EU, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, the Göran Gustafsson Foundation, the Kempe Foundations, Umeå Biotech Incubator and Umeå University Holding.
Photo of Fredrik Almqvist: Andreas Gradin