A Strathclyde University spin-out company is closing in on a £10m Series A funding round in April or May.

This investment is hoped to back NexaBiome’s planned 24-month programme to expand and develop its human health pipeline, capitalising on animal and veterinary health programmes.These include enhancing its polymicrobial library, further developing its processes to bioinformatics, formulating developments in lead indications, preclinical studies and scaling-up the manufacture needed to supply markets and support clinical trials.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the top 10 global public health threats, according to the World Health Organisation, with an estimated 1.3 million deaths as a result of AMR in 2019 – and associated with up to five million.

NexaBiome is leading the way in addressing the challenges of AMR – where drugs like antibiotics are no longer effective against infections.

The business was established in 2010, originating from a breakthrough in the development of a bacteria-free container.

Two years later, the company tested and developed a scalable version of the corona discharge machine (patented in 2003) which facilitated the validation of the phage immobilisation technology – and has since has culminated in one of the most advanced formulation technologies for phage applications.

To date, the company has raised about £8m in funding from Scottish Enterprise and private investors.

In 2021, £2.4m was secured to upgrade its facilities and expand its workforce at the West of Scotland Science Park. This growth trajectory continued with a further £1.5m investment in 2022, to scale up the development and commercialisation of phage technology in human and animal health applications.

In 2023, the company underwent a rebrand, changing its name from Fixed Phage to NexaBiome.

It is aiming to capitalise on end-to-end capabilities to address the challenge of AMR using bacteriophages from its polymicrobial library to produce the most effective phage cocktails, tailored to target specific bacteria.

Researchers are able to identify and isolate these virulent phages, before scaling up production and manufacturing using a unique method of formulation – so millions of patients are able to be treated, rather than the hundreds that current phage therapy approaches are doing.

The company operates from its premises on the outskirts of Glasgow, with 3,600 sq ft of lab and office space, 16 members of staff and 10 core patents around the technology and specific applications.

NexaBiome chief executive Dr Neil Clelland said: “The urgency to tackle AMR has never been more apparent, so that’s why we are committed to confronting this challenge head on.

“We have clear and ambitious plans to realise the full potential of phage therapy to improve the health and wellbeing of people and animals worldwide.

“By leveraging investment support, we can further develop and commercialise key programmes,” he added.