Our friends and partners from leading European online biotech media, Labiotech.eu, has recently published their list of “The 21 European Biotech Companies to Watch in 2021“. This time two MVA-based MVA-member companies made the list, Genmab and Gedea Biotech. Genmab you know already. Consequently, we decided to reach out to CEO, Annette Säfholm (photo), Gedea Biotech, and ask her a few questions about her company and learn more about why and how they have made it to this prominent European list.
Q1: Which unmet medical need is Gedea Biotech trying to address?
Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal infection with a prevalence of 10-30% in adult women. The infection causes disturbing symptoms that affects daily life in many ways. pHyph cures the infection in a sustainable way by replacing the need for antibiotics and we have promising data indicating that pHyph can exert a protective effect on recurrence of the condition.
Today, these women are given standard antibiotic treatments which work well in the short term, but there is a very high rate of recurrence. Our treatment, a vaginal tablet, pHyph acts to restore the vaginal pH to its normal level of pH 4.0 – 4.5 and by breaking down the biofilm formed during bacterial vaginosis under which the infectious bacteria begin to thrive. Furthermore, we have promising data indicating that pHyph can exert a protective effect on recurrence of the condition. Thus, we are not only in a position to hopefully offering a superior treatment, we also do it in a sustainable way by replacing the need for antibiotics in the first place. Currently at a conservative estimate, at least 10 million antibiotic treatments are prescribed for bacterial vaginosis every year, thus further underlying the potential value for patients and society alike of our treatment.
Q2: Why do you think you have qualified for the list “The 21 European Biotech Companies to Watch in 2021” published by the leading European online Biotech magazine, Labiotech?
First of all, we at Gedea are very proud to belong to such a prominent group of 20 other biotech companies including BioNTech, the company who partnered with Pfizer to develop the vaccine against Covid-19. Labiotech, the media outlet publishing the article on The 21 European Biotech Companies to Watch in 2021 interviewed me at Gedea, and published an article in March 2020 about our recent clinical study showing that 82% of the women who received pHyph were clinically cured after 7 days. So, one reason is surely that they know our company and pHyph and have been following our promising data and progress. But we wouldn’t have been chosen unless they found that Gedea Biotech and our technology will bring an important contribution to human health. Here there are two things that perhaps made us stand out against presumably fierce competition in Labiotech’s opinion – firstly women’s health is a surprisingly neglected area with little innovation and secondly despite causing major concern, there are still few antibiotic alternatives being developed.
Q3: What are you most important milestones to reach in 2021?
The main goals for 2021 are new clinical data from the NEFERTITI study and CE marking of pHyph. It will be challenging to perform the NEFERTITI study during the pandemic but we will pursue the objective of finishing it this year. Finally, since we are approaching market approval, we will increase our engagement when it comes to discussing with potential partners for out-licensing pHyph.