Nijmegen, 12th September 2023 – By the occasion of the World Sepsis Day, SurvivX is happy to announce that the company has been selected by the INCATE Selection Committee to be part of the INCATE Incubator community. SurvivX was rewarded Stage I financial support by INCATE and will also benefit from access to leading institutes and experts in the field of infectious diseases, particularly in life-threatening infections in the form of (severe) sepsis.
Sepsis is a serious condition with significant societal implications, caused by various infections, bacterial, viral, or fungal. It occurs when the body fails to effectively manage the infection, leading to an initial immune overreaction that attacks the body, followed by immune suppression causing severe complications. Sepsis is a leading cause of ICU admissions and results in 11 million global deaths annually, affecting around 0.6% of the global population. Of sepsis patients, one in five does not survive, and of those who do survive, 50% suffer from long-term physical and/or psychological effects.
The World Sepsis Day joins global efforts to increase sepsis awareness. Progress has been achieved in enhancing sepsis patient prognoses, yet further improvement is essential. The rising number of infections with potential for severe sepsis is attributed to factors such as antimicrobial resistance, emerging pandemics, aging populations, and increase of chronic diseases that compromise the immune system.
There is an urgent need for a fresh approach to sepsis treatment that considers personalization, replacing the longstanding one-size-fits-all method prevalent in drug development for decades.
Using technology developed by Prof. Balachandran Ravindran and Dr. Taslimarif Sayed at the Institute of Life Sciences and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), both located in India, SurvivX takes the first step towards this personalized approach. While the current treatment of sepsis typically focuses on the immune overreaction, SurvivX is developing therapeutics focused on those patients that suffer from a suppressed immune system as a result of sepsis.
CEO Remko van Leeuwen: “Our technology is based on a specific protein that is excreted by a tropical parasite: the filaria roundworm. The team in India made the remarkable observation that people who are infected by this parasite typically do not end up at an ICU unit when they develop sepsis. They started studies to find the cause of this protective effect that an infection with this worm seems to have. They discovered that a specific protein that is secreted by the worm is responsible for this. This protein has been further characterized and can be produced as a medicine. We have already shown that the protein leads to a much better survival of mice with sepsis, which confirms the protective effect that was seen in filaria patients. But mice are not humans, thus SurvivX needs to show the safety and activity of the protein in humans before it can be tested as a novel therapeutic approach. The collaboration with INCATE and the financial support from INCATE will help to take these first steps of the development towards clinical studies in humans”.
SurvivX anticipates that the new medicine will lower the negative impact that sepsis has on the life of patients, while lowering the high burden of sepsis for our healthcare system today. Leonie de Best, co-founder and CBO of the company: “We are very proud to be part of the INCATE incubator community realizing that this validates our mission to reduce the number of casualties as a result of (severe) sepsis”.
Douglas Haggstrom, member of the INCATE management team: “We are very happy to welcome SurvivX into our INCATE Incubator, and happy to contribute to this interesting approach to tackle the challenge of Sepsis. We value the combination of Indian and Dutch expertise which makes this a powerful collaboration with a large potential as sepsis also is a large and rising problem in developing countries”.
Based in Nijmegen in the Netherlands, SurvivX is an early-stage biotech company developing a pharmaceutical product for the personalized treatment of sepsis, to significantly improve chances of survival as well as quality of life.
INCATE is a not-for-profit partnership which brings together translational and basic research, industry, experienced entrepreneurs and investors from across Europe and beyond. The German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), the research association InfectControl in Germany, the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research AntiResist, the University of Basel and the Leibniz-HKI are the academic founding members of INCATE with the University of Basel as virtual host. Together with the four industry partners Boehringer Ingelheim, Roche, Shionogi and MSD as well as other organizations, funders and investors, INCATE want to ensure that the pipeline of new antibiotics and diagnostics is filled and strengthened.