INCATE catalyzes critical growth stage at m4 Award winner Invitris

Co-founder & CTO Kilian Vogele (left) and Co-founder & CEO Patrick Grossmann (right) of Invitris © Invitris

Phages combat bacteria. © istock/

INCATE has selected m4 Award 2021 winner Invitris as the first venture to receive 250,000 Euro in “Stage II Funding” that will allow Invitris to complete spin-out from Chair of Physics of Synthetic Biological Systems at the Technischen Universität München (TUM) and further its mission to scale the production of phages, phage-derived and other antimicrobial proteins in the fight against Antimicrobial Resistance.

Invitris was selected in INCATE stage I in January 2022 with advice being provided to support the scale of manufacturing and company founding. The team have built momentum since selection with key experiments to de-risk the fundamental science and opening of a new laboratory in the heart of Munich’s biotech ecosystem.

The INCATE selection committee was convinced by the dynamic team and the opportunity of a platform that can bring scalability to manufacturing of phages, endolysins, and other antimicrobial proteins. Phages in particular have potential to treat multi-drug resistant bacteria due to their ability to be tailored to the target disease. The funding allows Invitris to complete Technology Transfer from TUM and continue development toward a GMP ready process.

“"INCATE stage I was integral to validating our technology and business model. We would not have been so well prepared to transfer out of an academic setting without INCATE. To be selected as the first team to win stage II is a confirmation of our potential to build a successful company.” says Patrick Grossmann, CEO Invitris GmbH.

“We hope that Invitris will contribute to the social implementation of phage-related therapies as a breakthrough. In particular, we expect Invitris to dramatically improve flexibility, speed, quality control, and cost in the production process, and more importantly, to stimulate phage-related research activities.” comments Hideki Maki, INCATE Selection Committee member, Principal Scientist, Laboratory for Drug Discovery and Disease Research, Shionogi& Co.,Ltd.

This non-dilutive investment, ongoing advice from INCATE and further support including inclusion in the Winter ‘23 batch at Y Combinator will help Invitris to develop and scale an innovative platform technology that can have a significant impact on the fight against multidrug resistant infections.

About the m4 Award

With the m4 Award, initiated by BioM in 2011, the Free State of Bavaria supports innovative products, technologies or services of young companies that decisively advance the further development of medicine of the future. The prize is awarded every two years. A total of 30 research projects have been honored in the six rounds of competition to date. 14 spin-offs have been realized since then.