INCATE (the INCubator for Antibacterial Therapies in Europe) has successfully reached its two-year milestone, boasting an impressive array of achievements. With a direct contact to over 180 startups and initiatives, a thriving portfolio of 24 ventures (and more in the pipeline), and valuable partnerships that have propelled the project forward, INCATE stands as a beacon of progress in its field. The Leibniz-HKI is one of INCATES founding members.
Launched in August 2021, INCATE has been committed to its mission to bolster early stage innovators in the Antimicrobial Resistance field. By providing advice, community, and non-dilutive funding, the project empowers entrepreneurs to construct compelling business propositions and compile the evidence requisite to attract investors.
INCATE was contacted by over 180 start-ups and projects, gathering more than 80 applications. The establishment of a robust pipeline for new ventures has been a hallmark accomplishment, along with furnishing essential support to 24 ventures at Stage I. The current portfolio of Stage I ventures comes from 15 countries so far, with over half not founded as companies when they first contacted INCATE. The technologies selected include traditional direct acting small molecules and peptides but also phages, anti-virulence and other technologies. Notably, one of these ventures moved forward to Stage II in January 2023. At present, the landscape includes some INCATE ventures that have achieved the coveted “investable stage” status, successfully securing equity investment and forging impactful collaborations. This includes Smartbax, Invitris. There will be further Stage II Investments at the end of 2023 and during 2024. INCATE earned the distinction of a “unique role” in the European Commission’s report on medical countermeasures and played a vital role in the WHO pre-clinical pipeline report in 2023.
The year 2023 also marks the beginning of another major milestone, as INCATE's supporting partner, the Leibniz Association, has invested €1 million in the project, which has allowed the team to grow and focus even more on supporting innovators in this fight against silent pandemics. The Leibniz-HKI is significantly represented in the management team of INCATE with three employees.
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.