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Omnix Medical bags €10.8m from EIC Accerator Fund

Israel’s Omnix Medical has been granted €10.8m needed to start Phase I/II development of a potential AMR breaking drug in Gram-negative bugs.

The money for the trial comes from the EIC Accelerator, for which last year 38 companies with potential breakthrough innovations were selected to receive €1m – €7m to provide a proof-of-principle of their inventions.

Omnix Medical sets its hopes on a small cyclic ionophoric cationic peptide that destroys the negatively charged membranes of the hard-to-treat, multiresistant class of Gram-negative pathogens. The start-up company’s lead candidate OMN6 is a member of the Cecropin family and serves as a antibacterial agent in insects such as Hyalophora cecropia, which secret the peptide to their hemolymph to protect them against pathogenic infection. Some insect species are capable of producing 10-15 different antibiotic peptides, each peptide with a complete different range of antibacterial action. At least further two candidate drugs are in discovery phase.

OMN6 is currently in IND-enabling studies and has so far demonstrated high efficacy in killing drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. The novel drug class developed by Omnix Medical possibly offers  an alternative to classical antibiotics. Instead of targeting chemical or biological bacterial pathways, they physically destroy the membrane of bacteria regardless of existing resistances, leading to an immediate breakdown of ionic gradients needed in energy metabolism

According to preclinical data, Cecropins are significantly more potent (and selective for bacterial cells) than currently available antibiotics. Moreover, their unique mode of action prevents the development of new resistances to Omnix Medical´s compounds. Omnix has successfully completed animal-model experiments that proved efficacy and safety.

 “It is an important recognition of our unique approach to treat life-threatening, drug-resistant infections,” commented Dr. Moshik Cohen-Kutner, CEO of Omnix Medical, who co-founded the company in 2015 together with Rom Lakritz (CFO, photo, right hand side) and Niv Bachnoff (CSO, photo, left hand side). “The funding allows us to advance our lead compound OMN6 through clinical proof-of-concept studies.”