Kenta Biotech announced today that it is relocating from Bern to Bio-Technopark in Zurich-Schlieren, the Silicon Valley of Swiss Biotechnology.
Founded in 2006 as a Berna Biotech (today Crucell Switzerland AG) spin-off, Kenta Biotech is entering a new era in its development of innovative treatment of life-threatening infections.
In its new Zurich-Schlieren headquarters, Kenta Biotech now rents state-of-the-art laboratories, which will allow it to boost research efforts and remain firmly committed to developing fully human monoclonal antibodies against life-threatening infectious diseases, mostly hospital-acquired infections. Kenta has invested extensively in new equipment and technologies to further and faster expand its research and preclinical pipeline.
Among the new site’s advantages are its proximity to the top-class academic research centres in the city of Zurich, the backup provided by the local authorities as well as the convenient transport connections and high quality of life in the surrounding area.
„This is definitely a strategic move for the company and we are now located at the best possible place for a young and innovative biotech company in Switzerland”, says Franco Merckling, CEO of Kenta Biotech. “We feel very inspired and thrilled to be surrounded by so many successful neighbours. They all began like Kenta and their examples tell us that good science and hard work always pay off.”
Six years on a mission to fight hospital infections
The first six years of the company’s build-up took place at the Berne facility of Crucell, developing its proprietary MabIgX® technology and bringing its first lead compound KBPA101 (panobacumab) through a successful phase IIa study. Its second lead product orphan drug statusEuropean Commission. KBSA301 is aimed to treat severe pneumonia caused by Staphylococcus aureus. In addition to KBSA301 and KBPA101, Kenta Biotech’s pipeline contains several additional compounds targeting severe bacterial and viral infections.
With its relocation, Kenta Biotech sends out positive signals to present and future investors and partners. The added value that the new location entails for the company’s development is apparent.
Nosocomial (hospital acquired) infections are a major burden: They affect an estimated 10% of all hospitalised patients, with highly associated morbidity and mortality, and there is a very high unmet medical need for drugs that effectively fight severe infections, and that are also well tolerated by the patients. It is expected that monoclonal antibodies will represent an important treatment option to fight infections more effectively in addition to current antibiotic therapy.
Kenta Biotech is a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Zurich-Schlieren, Switzerland, focusing on the development of innovative fully human monoclonal antibodies for the prevention and treatment of life-threatening infections. Kenta Biotech’s proprietary MabIgX® technology allows harnessing the power of the human immune system for the generation of fully human monoclonal antibodies and to transform them into highly effective therapeutic antibodies. The unique technology in combination with focused scientific and clinical expertise enables Kenta Biotech to move innovative antibody therapies rapidly from the bench to high medical need patients.
There is a healthy spread of firms at varying stages of business development in the city of Schlieren just outside Switzerland’s economic capital Zurich. The companies range from recent start-ups from the nearby Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and the University of Zurich to global players. These firms are joining forces in the non-profit organization BIO-TECHNOPARK® with the owner of the Wagi site, the town of Schlieren and the regional Department for Economic Development in order to maximize synergies and improve infrastructure.
The site is in a state of constant development. There are plans to create a campus-like environment that will facilitate the exchange between staff members and external researchers and connect to the neighbourhood. Currently, the centre has 42 member organizations. Bio-Technopark hit the headlines with two big sales: In 2005, Roche bought the young start-up Glycart for 235 million CHF, and in 2009, Alcon/Novartis took over ESBATech for about 600 million USD.