Cookie Preference

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. Please select an option.  Privacy Policy

No cookies except for those necessary for technical reasons are set.

Startups 2021



Dr Thomas Hesterkamp

Innovation & Business Idea

We are pursuing a novel class of anti-bacterials, the cystobactamids, at lead nomination stage. We are targeting the urgent-threat category carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, a causative agent of hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated pneumonia and bloodstream infections. Using non-dilutive BMBF-funding, project progresses in close cooperation between the HZI, HZI-HIPS, Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) and Evotec. The cystobactamids are rapidly bactericidal, resistance-breaking drugs with low frequency-of-resistance formation. Myxobiotics licenses background and foreground Intellectual Property (IP) from this work.

Customers / Target Market

The global antibiotics market is worth USD 45 Billion per annum. The market has suffered a dramatic lack of innovation and product differentiation. Identification and optimization of drugs for multi-drug-resistance (MDR) Gram negative-bacteria remains a fundamental technical challenge. UK and US governments are pioneering market reforms (PULL mechanism) and first preclinical-stage licensing deals encourage a return of product developers and investors to this market.


The pipeline for carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii treatment is short and weak. The cystobactamids are the only new drug class without pre-existing resistance. There is ample opportunity to further optimize and develop this drug class. Regulators offer alternative routes of clinical development and licensure, with either indication or pathogen focus.

Intellectual Property Status

Myxobiotics licenses three families of cystobactamid-related (composition-of-matter) patents from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI). The cooperation Partners HZI, HZI-HIPS, LUH and Evotec synthesize further improved cystobactamids and file additional patents at the time of candidate nomination. Myxobiotics take an exclusive commercial license in these.

Development Status & Future Steps

  • transitioning from lead generation to lead optimization: complete
  • completion lead optimization: 3Q22
  • candidate nomination: 2Q23
  • IND: 3Q24
  • Phase I clinical trial complete: 3Q25

Exit Strategy

Due to the pending antimicrobial resistance crisis, there is a high level of urgency in bringing new and differentiated antibiotics to the market place. Myxobiotics' license will be equipped with the right to grant a sub-license. Pharmaceutical companies returning to the market space will be looking for inlicensing opportunities by the time we are initiating clinical development. Likewise, mid-sized players with established anti-bacterial franchise will be looking for innovation. A trade sale of the company will be the general alternative then.

Team Description

Company founders:
Prof Dr Rolf Müller (Director HZI-HIPS; 2021 Leibniz prize awardee).
Prof Dr Mark Brönstrup (Dept Head Chemical Biology HZI; ex-Sanofi).
Dr Jennifer Herrmann (Senior Scientist HZI-HIPS; CSO of Myxobiotics).
Dr Thomas Hesterkamp (Head Product Development HZI & DZIF; ex-Evotec; CEO of Myxobiotics).

Financing Need

Seeking to complete € 1.5m seed finance round of the company. LOI from HTGF in place.

Searching for