Joint CeMM-IST Austria start-up develops new class of drugs targeting solute carrier proteins
Solgate GmbH, an Austrian early-stage biotech company, announces the completion of its first financing round from a group of venture and private investors.
Solgate was incorporated in 2020 by a high-profile founding team and with intellectual property from the leading research institutions CeMM (Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences) and IST Austria (Institute of Science and Technology Austria), with support from the Austrian promotional bank (AWS). The company applies methods from chemistry, cell biology, and advanced analytics to develop drugs that target membrane transporters known as solute carrier proteins (SLCs) – a novel, largely unexploited, and highly promising class of drug targets. The company is located at IST PARK, the technology park adjacent to IST.
Giulio Superti-Furga, CeMM Director and Co-Founder of Solgate, remarks: “Solgate is the first start-up born out of a cooperation between CeMM and IST Austria, and the sixth startup company that has been created based on CeMM’s intellectual property and know-how. We are grateful for the trust of the investors and are certain that Solgate will be a great success.”technology park adjacent to the campus of IST Austria.
Alexander Schwartz, Partner at IST cube, comments: “We are very happy to work with Solgate, where a top team of renowned researchers who have pioneered the field of SLCs, are applying a new approach towards drug discovery. On top of the synergies among the interdisciplinary founding team, we see the great potential that emerges from the cooperation of scientists from two academic institutions. We are happy to participate in this investment round and are excited about the future of Solgate.”
“Membrane transporters, such as SLCs are exciting therapeutic targets that show promise in the development of breakthrough treatments for challenging diseases. We see an opportunity for Solgate to benefit from advances in technology and SLC biology, to create and develop new drug candidates targeting SLCs. We are thrilled to have the support and domain expertise of our investors and look forward to accomplishing our vision even more rapidly together”, adds Ariel Bensimon, co-founder and CEO of Solgate.
Solgate GmbH pursues the development of drugs modulating the activity of solute carrier (SLC) proteins, the largest family of membrane transporters, focusing on the important roles of SLCs in neurological diseases, cancer and metabolic disorders. Through a proprietary discovery platform that combines several technologies, Solgate designs and rapidly advances novel chemical matter against selected SLCs. Solgate GmbH was founded by Ariel Bensimon, Georg Winter, Stefan Kubicek, Giulio Superti-Furga, Gaia Novarino, together with CeMM and IST Austria.
About IST cube
IST cube is a seed fund focusing on deep-tech and science-based start-ups and spin-offs. The fund leads investment rounds in pre-seed and seed stages with the ability for follow-on investments. IST cube supports the portfolio companies with equity, know-how and network. In addition, the fund has a strong partner in the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, which provides access to scientific infrastructure.