The Western Development Commission (WDC) has invested €500,000 in Nektr Technologies, the Sligo-based biotech company developing an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral synthetic compound with far-reaching applications in the areas of human and animal health.
A3IS, Nektr’s technology, is a highly potent synthetic antimicrobial compound, which has demonstrated efficacy against a large number of multi-drug resistant pathogens (including many on the World Health Organisation list of critical pathogens) with no resistance – meaning it provides a potential answer to the global challenge of antibiotic resistance and overuse. Because of the widespread use of antibiotics, the infectious bacteria they were designed to counter have adapted to them, making antibiotics increasingly less effective as a treatment than they once were.
In terms of human healthcare, Nektr is currently employing the technology in the areas of onychomycosis (a fungal infection of the nails), anti-microbial resistance (AMR), dermatological challenges, nasal decontamination and medical device coatings. It is also exploring other potential areas of application in human and animal healthcare as well as potential improvements to the human food chain and to the environment.
The WDC investment is part of a €1 million fundraising round to support further product development and commercialisation. This funding round follows on from previous funding raised from private sources and Enterprise Ireland. Nektr’s CEO, Frank Boyle, previously founded medical device company ProTek Medical, which he sold to Koch Industries in 2016.
The WDC Investment Fund has helped support the position of the West of Ireland as a start-up hub for indigenous medtech and life science companies, building on the region’s reputation as a global centre of excellence.Gillian Buckley, Investment Manager WDC
The Western Development Commission’s €75m Investment Fund is an Evergreen investment fund, providing seed and venture capital and loan finance to SMEs, micro-enterprises, social enterprises and community projects across the Western Region. To date, it has invested in more than 200 enterprises supporting over 5,000 jobs and leveraging over a quarter of a billion euros of investment for companies in the region.
Gillian Buckley, Investment Manager with the Western Development Commission, said:
“The WDC Investment Fund has helped support the position of the West of Ireland as a start-up hub for indigenous medtech and life science companies, building on the region’s reputation as a global centre of excellence. Nektr Technologies is our 36th life science investment, making the WDC Investment Fund one of the largest medtech/life science investors in the country. The WDC is an impact investor so we seek not only a financial return on investment but also a socio-economic impact. Nektr Technologies offers both, it will support high quality jobs in Sligo as well as addressing significant healthcare issues.
The significant investment by the WDC in the current fundraising of €1 million will allow Nektr to capitalise on the commercial opportunities that it currently has, further develop the other potential applications we have identified and add additional resources to the business to assist its growth.Frank Boyle, CEO of Nektr Technologies
Frank Boyle, CEO of Nektr Technologies, said:
“Nektr is currently concluding a Phase 3 Pharmaceutical Clinical Trial on the efficacy of A3IS as a novel and cost-effective treatment for onychomychosis (Fungal Nail Disease). During the course of the trial, we came across a lot of other opportunities for deploying the technology. The significant investment by the WDC in the current fundraising of €1 million will allow Nektr to capitalise on the commercial opportunities that it currently has, further develop the other potential applications we have identified and add additional resources to the business to assist its growth.”
Tomás Ó Síocháin, CEO of the Western Development Commission, said:
“The development of Nektr’s A3IS synthetic compound has the potential to address critical global issues in the areas of human and animal health and the environment. It also emphasises Sligo’s growing reputation as a hub for technological innovation and entrepreneurship.”
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Allan Mulrooney, WDC Head of Communications at 087 3343713