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Bacteriophage startup secures €21 million funding

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
10 August 2021, at 12:10pm

Proteon Pharmaceuticals has secured an investment of €21 million to accelerate the commercialisation of its bacteriophage products, which aim to reduce the reliance on antibiotics within aquaculture and livestock farming.

The team behind Proteon Pharmaceuticals
The team behind Proteon Pharmaceuticals

The Polish startup says that it will use the funding to support a global product roll-out and to support new product development, as well as help to further expand the capabilities of its microbiome platform technology. The platform will be developed through integration of artificial intelligence (AI) tools, high throughput screening and process automation, as well as expansion of production capacity.

Proteon Pharmaceuticals’ bacteriophage cocktails address issues including Pseudomonas and Aeromonas infection in finfish aquaculture, while its product development pipeline includes solutions for the prevention of AHPND in shrimp production.

The financing round was led by Nutreco, Aqua-Spark* and PFR Life Science, a portfolio company of the Polish Development Fund (PFR). Other investors in the round included Montis Capital, Seventure Partners as well as a group of angel investors.

"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 unique capabilities of bacteriophages," explains Jarosław Dastych, CEO of Proteon Pharmaceuticals, in a press release.

Matthew Tebeau, COO of Proteon Pharmaceuticals, adds: “This investment increases our ability to make bacteriophages available to the global livestock and aquaculture markets, where they will increase the environmental sustainability of protein production as well as significantly reduce the need for antibiotics.”

Rob Koremans, Nutreco CEO says: “This investment underlines Nutreco’s commitment to our purpose of Feeding the Future and to the partnership between Proteon Pharmaceuticals and Nutreco’s aquaculture division Skretting. Together, Proteon Pharmaceuticals and Skretting are developing bacteriophage health products to support farmers in keeping their animals healthy without the use of antibiotics. Our investment is a great next step to deepen this ongoing relationship and to support Proteon Pharmaceuticals in this exciting phase in the company’s development.”

"With antibiotic resistance being one of biggest public health challenges of our time, it is imperative that we reduce the amount of antibiotics we use in animal farming. Proteon Pharmaceuticals is a leader in finding alternative, healthier ways to treat and prevent disease and we are proud to be a part of their current acceleration," states Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, Co-founders of Aqua-Spark.

*Hatch is part of Aqua-Spark's investment portfolio, but The Fish Site retains editorial independence