PFR Life Science invests in Proteon Pharmaceuticals
PFR Life Science, a portfolio company of the Polish Development Fund (PFR), carried out another investment in the biotechnology sector, taking part in financing round conducted by Proteon Pharmaceuticals. The company raised EUR 21 million which will be used to accelerate the commercialization of the company's products and further development of bacteriophage technology. Other key investors in this round included Nutreco, Aqua-Spark, Montis Capital and Seventure.
Proteon Pharmaceuticals is a Polish innovative biotechnology company, a leader in precise modulation of the microbiome to improve human and animal health. Proteon developed an advanced technology platform that uses molecular biology, genomics, bioinformatics and artificial intelligence (AI) to create precise and safe antibacterial solutions based on bacteriophages.
The investment in Proteon Pharmaceuticals fits very well into the strategy of PFR Life Science, whose mission is to support Polish innovative companies with the potential to establish their way into global markets. Proteon has the opportunity to create a new product category so that it can contribute to reduction of antibiotic consumption in the food production chain. This is an important trend that we support along the regulators and consumers around the world
- said Paweł Borys, CEO of the Polish Development Fund.
The funds raised from investors will support the company's efforts to reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock farming and to promote sustainable protein production and ultimately improve human health. We are proud that the potential of our company has attracted such a wide group of industry and financial investors who, like us, believe in the uniqueness of the capabilities of bacteriophages
- said Proteon Pharmaceutical’s CEO, Jarosław Dastych.
Bacteriophages (or phages) are the smallest, most numerous and oldest organisms on the planet. Their purpose is to fight pathogenic bacteria in the body. Phages are viruses that only infect bacterial cells, and thus since their discovery over 100 years ago have been proposed as antimicrobial agents. Phages were used as antibacterial therapies in the 1920s and 30s but steadily fell out of favor following the discovery and mass production of antibiotics.
However, with the rising problem of antimicrobial resistance, bacteriophages have re-emerged as a technology to prevent bacterial infections. According to projections, inaction on antibiotic resistance may lead up to 10 million death by 2050 and an estimated 66 trillion USD in economic losses. Farmed animals consume eighty per cent of antibiotics, so the frontline in the fight against AMR is preventing bacterial outbreaks on farms and aquaculture.
Proteon Pharmaceuticals is a leading player in developing new generation bacteriophage products for the farming and aquaculture sectors. The company’s leading two products are nutritional additives for poultry to fight bacteria like Salmonella and Escherichia coli. The company also offers additives containing bacteriophages for farmed fish and is working on a product to treat mastitis for dairy cows.