Sligo biotech start-up Nektr secures €1m in funding

6 May 2021

Frank Boyle, CEO of Nektr Technologies. Image: WDC

The start-up is developing a compound that could help in tackling antibiotic resistance in humans and animals.

Nektr Technologies, a Sligo-based biotech start-up, has raised €1m in funding to bring its technology from trial stages to market.

It is developing a synthetic antimicrobial compound that could make treatments like antibiotics more effective for humans and animals.

Half of the funding round comes from the Western Development Commission (WDC), with other backers including Enterprise Ireland also investing.

Nektr’s technology, called A3IS, is hoped to be able to combat against multi-drug resistant pathogens. The start-up is exploring the application of its compound in dermatological conditions, nasal decontamination and medical device coatings.

Chief executive Frank Boyle, who sold his last company ProTek Medical to Koch Industries, said the company is concluding a phase-three pharmaceutical clinical trial that is examining the efficacy of A3IS in treating fungal nail disease.

“During the course of the trial, we came across a lot of other opportunities for deploying the technology,” he said.

“The significant investment by the WDC in the current fundraising of €1m 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.”

The fresh funds will be invested in further product development and commercialisation.

The Western Development Commission invested in the start-up from its €75m Investment Fund, which provides seed capital and loan financing to start-ups and SMEs in the west of Ireland. Earlier this year, the agency invested €2m in Atlantic Therapeutics, another medtech firm.

Gillian Buckley, investment manager at the Western Development Commission, said that it is investing in such companies to help bolster the west as “a start-up hub for indigenous medtech and life science companies”.

“Nektr Technologies is our 36th life science investment, making the WDC Investment Fund one of the largest medtech and 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 socioeconomic impact.”

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin