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Startups 2019

Rising Startup

VALANX Biotech GmbH

Michael Lukesch

Innovation & Business Idea

Cheap and industrially feasible site-specific protein modification still represents a huge hurdle for the development of products with a big impact in healthcare and bioeconomy. Current technology relies on non-directed conjugation methods, which leads to product inconsistencies and makes production processes hard to control. VALANX Biotech has developed a patented, novel, reactive amino acid that can be produced two orders of magnitude cheaper than comparable ones produced by competitors. We incorporate this amino acid at defined positions into proteins and peptides. The reaction we use also cuts reaction time from days to hours without needing a catalyst. This way we can produce site-specific conjugates at a fraction of the cost of existing technologies.


Customers / Target Market

Our target customers are pharmaceutical company or their contract manufacturers who develop therapeutic peptide and protein conjugates. We will offer services in establishing our platform technology for their drug candidates and will then outlicense the technology for production. Our revenues will come from milestone payments during product development as well as licensing fees for production and then royalties for sales.

The size of the conjugates protein market was $36.2 B in 2014. More recent data are hard to come by since market reports are confidential. The number refers to total sales of conjugate drugs and products developed with conjugate protein technology. Prominent examples of conjugate protein drugs include Kadcyla (breast cancer) and Pegvaliase (Phenylketonuria).


Competitors

http://www.ambrx.com

Our technology is more cost efficient and uses more efficient conjugation chemistry.

https://www.sutrobio.com/

We use an established production system which is a more cost efficient technology and more efficient conjugation chemistry.


Intellectual Property Status

Patent is filed and has entered PCT application. It is published under  WO2019016354A1.

It is a composition of matter patent and protects the chemical structure of our proprietary amino acid. This way, every product made with this amino acid falls within our patent claims.


Development Status & Future Steps

During the first year we were accelerated by RebelBio, an SOSV start-up accelerator. We developed our first proof-of-concept and got in touch with representatives from industry. We are currently based in Klosterneuburg and part of the newly established IST Cube Incubator. We have raised over €0.3 M of PreSeed funding and grew our team from 2 to 4 people.

We are very close to sell our first product, our proprietary amino acid, as a research chemical to Bachem, to develop it further in the area of peptide synthesis. This will also generate first revenues.

We have interest from the industry to develop products using our technology in the cancer space and are further exploring these opportunities to collaborate. Currently, we are scaling up our processes from lab to pre-industrial scale.


Exit Strategy

Our exit strategy is currently to sell the company to a partner in the biopharmaceutical space so that the technology can be efficiently used for product development. Ideally, this would happen in the next 5 years.


Team Description

Michael Lukesch, MSc., CEO, Co-Founder.
Michael studied Chemistry, followed by a PhD in Biotechnology. He aquired education and experience in project management, communications, team leadership and business.

Patrik Fladischer, PhD, CSO, Co-Founder.
Patrik has worked with our technology now for more than four years. He comes up with out-of-the-box innovative solutions to scientific problems.


Financing Need

We are looking for ~ €0.2-–0.5 M in a funding round (depending on F&E grant approval) coming September.


Searching for

Funding, Collaboration

 

VALANX Biotech GmbH