”After years of research we suddenly realised how to combine our findings. It was a eureka moment.”

Introducing Amferia wound dressing for animal care — binds and kills bacteria without harming the body

How antimicrobial hydrogel can revolutionize clinical treatments

Binds and kills 99.99% of bacteria without harming the body – even resistant bacteria

”After years of research we suddenly realised how to combine our findings. It was a eureka moment.”

The Amferia story:

Amferia was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, when three PhD researchers who had been collaborating for five years had the idea to combine their findings. In 2016, after several conversations among themselves, Amferia founders Saba Atefyekta, Anand Kumar Rajasehkaran and Martin Andersson conceived a new class of antimicrobial material while working at Chalmers University of Technology .

The approach was to utilise antimicrobial peptides—a potent antimicrobial molecule that Saba Atefyekta was investigating for biomaterial applications — in combination with a new amphiphilic hydrogel developed by Anand Rajasekharan for his PhD research on synthetic bone.

Within the first two weeks, we noted that the idea was sound and worked perfectly, which is a rarity in science” 

During a conference visit to Montreal in May 2016, Saba, Anand and Martin dove deeper into discussions and realized their combined research had uncovered potential for real-world biomedical applications. ”After all these years of research we suddenly realised how to combine our findings. It was a eureka moment,” said Saba.

Excited by their discoveries, Saba and Anand returned to the lab and initiated the first trial runs, synthesizing the material and testing it on bacteria. “Within the first two weeks, we noted that the idea was sound and worked perfectly, which is a rarity in science,” said Anand.

From basic research to a high-impact product

The company:

After months of trials and more trials focused on optimizing the commercial viability of the product, the founders knew their idea had life beyond the lab and science publications. They knew they could develop a new, innovative product to target and kill bacteria in medical applications.  

The team immediately reached out to the innovation arm of Chalmers University and filed for a patent. Then they engaged in intense market research, while continuing further experiments on resistant bacteria.

By late 2017, the first patent was filed, the hydrogel had been proven to kill bacteria — including numerous resistant bacteria — and was safely used in biological environments without toxicity. Most importantly, the founders agreed their first product using the new technology should address wound care.

By late 2017, the first patent was filed, the material proven to kill bacteria including numerous resistant bacteria

Since then, the company has worked hard and successfully scaled the technology, completed clinical evaluations in both human and animal wound care and are now preparing for their regulatory approvals.  

With further support from Chalmers innovation Office and a seed funding from Chalmers Ventures, Amferia was officially incorporated in September 2018. Both Anand and Saba, completed their PhDs and jumped on board to continue their full-time journey, translating fundamental research into new products for human and animal health.

Today Amferia is a talented team of seven, with dedicated personnel for business development, sales, clinical development, product development and production. 

Protected by strong patents granted in Europe, the U.S. and China

Patent portofolio:

Amferia’s innovation is protected by three strong patent families. The basic patent is already in force in China, the U.S. and Europe, and pending in several other countries. Ongoing R&D continues to generate new patent applications.

Currently, strong patent protection extends over Amferia’s core technology and key intellectual property, creating the potential for rapid and robust growth into human and animal health care. Because the patents extend to both the U.S. and Europe, Amferia is poised to enter partnerships that enable market leadership well into the future.  

Amferia's patent families

  • — Antimicrobial hydrogel technology (Application nr. 17512773) was filed in 6 countries and granted in Europe, the US and China, pending in the remaining countries. The patent is the foundation of Amferia's innovation and claims a new amphiphilic antimicrobial material, a device comprising the antimicrobial material and a method to produce the same.
  • — Mesoporous elastomer technology is Amferia's second patent family that claims a tough and nanostructured elastomeric material for various medical device applications.
  • — Utilizing antimicrobial technology in spray form was filed in 2020 and is currently granted in Sweden (1951495-9) and expected to be granted in other countries by early 2023. Utilizing the Amferia antimicrobial technology in spray form that can be applied to deeper wounds, bleeding wounds and surfaces for rapid disinfection.

Named by the science journal Nature and others

Recognition:

Amferia has been recognised by numerous organisations for its innovative research, entrepreneurial drive, business traction in multiple sectors and swift progress towards clinical translation. 

During 2019, Venture Cup Sweden named Amferia as the ‘Startup-of-the year  while the scientific journal Nature named Amferia as ‘one-to-watch  — on a list of the top 44 pioneering university spin-offs with excellent scientific groundwork

Amferia’s Co-founder and Sales Director, Dr. Saba Atefyekta, was recognised as a pioneering female entrepreneur by Women-in Tech Sweden and the Prince Daniel Fellowship.

Meet the team

Team and board:

Anand Rajasekharan, PhD, CEO & Co-founder. Anand holds a PhD in Materials Science from Chalmers University of Technology and is one of the inventors of the material platform serving Amferia’s healthcare technology.

Saba Atefyekta, PhD, Sales Director & Co-founder. Co- inventor behind Amferia’s technology.  Holds a PhD in Materials Science from Chalmers University and her thesis describes the antimicrobial platform of Amferia’s technology. Today, she leads business development in human and animal health.

Martin Andersson, PhD, R&D Director & Co-founder. Fifteen years’ experience in biomedical research with 100 scientific publications. He has previously started a med-tech company for bone implants with successful implementation of products into the market. Professor, Materials Science at Chalmers University.

Ingvar Karlsson, CFO. Previously CFO from both public and private companies covering life science and medtech, automotive and premium consumer goods spanning over 40 years.

Daniel Hagberg, PhD, CTO. Ten years experience in product development and manufacturing from the speciality chemicals and healthcare industry. PhD in Materials Science from Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Parvin Zamani, Director of Partnerships & Strategy. 25 years experience in life-science business development. Has had various leadership roles within sales, strategy and business development from both public and private life-science and biotech companies covering pharma, medtech and diagnostics.

Rojan Modaresi, DVM, PhD, Product Manager, Animal Health.  Responsible for Amferia’s wound products for animal care and works at the interface between product development and customer interaction at veterinary clinics across Europe. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and PhD in Microbiology from Urmia University, Iran.

Edvin Blomstrand, PhD., Research Engineer. Responsible for the product design and device optimization for wound care applications. Skilled in material design, antimicrobial testing and cell-material assessment. PhD in Materials Science from Chalmers University.

Board of Directors

Agneta Edberg, Chair. Previously Nordic Senior VP of Mylan, COO Bactiguard, Marketing Director at Pharmacia, Pfizer and CEO NM Pharma and several life science board assignments

Björn Engström. Previously Co-founder and Copywriter at Forsman & Bodenfors, several board assignments in scale-up companies and experienced in life-science marketing

Saba Atefyekta, PhD, Co-founder. PhD in Materials Science from Chalmers University and co-inventor of Amferia Technology

Martin Andersson, PhD, Co-founder. Professor in Materials Science at Chalmers University and co-inventor of Amferia Technology. Co-founder of Promimic AB, an bone-implant scale-up.

Ulrika Åberg. Investment manager at Almi Invest, previously IP lawyer at Mölnlycke Health care.

Alexandra De Wever Treschow, PhD, Experienced CEO of life science companies, presently CEO of NordX Pharma, previously at Aprovix AB, PhD in Gene Therapy

Jonas Bergman, Investment manager at Chalmers Ventures, previously CEO of life science company Integrum, and consultant at Triathlon AB 

Advisors

Dr. Christian Nees, Clinical Advisor Animal Health, Veterinary surgeon with 35 years of experience in surgery and wound care. Previously the head of Animal Health Hospital in Weingarten (Kleintierzentrum Weingarten), Germany.

Strong support for Amferia

Partners and funding:

Dr. Christian Nees joins as Clinical Advisor for Amferia's Animal Wound Care

February 19, 2024

Amferia AB welcomes Dr. Christian  Nees, veterinary surgeon and wound specialist, as Clinical Advisor for Animal Wound Care.

Dr. Nees is a veterinary surgeon with 35 years of experience in surgery and wound care. He was previously the head of Animal Health Hospital in Weingarten (Kleintierzentrum Weingarten), Germany.  Today, he coaches colleagues and wound care specialists in veterinary care. A leading voice in animal health in Germany, Dr. Nees built and led Kleintierzentrum Weingarten as one of the best hospitals  for small animals in Germany.  Dr. Nees will support and advise the Animal Health team at Amferia with medical and clinical affairs and clinical testing for further development and  strengthening of Amferia’s portfolio of Animal wound care products.  

Anand Kumar Rajasekharan, CEO of Amferia− “It is a true honour to welcome Dr. Nees as an Advisor to Amferia. Amferia has had the privilege of collaborating with Dr. Nees on clincal testing over the last 4 years and his guidance has been important for our product development. We now look forward to jointly enable good products for addressing wound care in animal health.

Parvin Zamani joins Amferia as the Director of Partnerships & Strategy

February 13, 2024

Amferia AB welcomes Parvin Zamani  as the Director of Partnerships & Strategy. Parvin comes from an impressive background  in Business Development within the life-science industry.

Parvin has a solid background in various leadership roles within Sales and Business Development from both public and private life-science and biotech companies covering pharma, medtech and diagnostics, spanning over 25 years. Some of Parvin’s key roles over the years have been Vice  President of BD & Sales at DBI, Market Access Director at Allergan,  Associate Director, Compliance and Operations Regulatory Affairs Lead at MSD, BD Manager Large Scale projects at Philips Healthcare and Sales leadership roles at various med-tech companies including Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic and Bactiguard.

At Amferia, Parvin will be responsible for accelerating the global Animal Health portfolio with orchestrating strategic partnerships with leading veterinary manufacturers and distributors. Her extensive knowledge in deal orchestration, market access and on-the-ground  sales will be important for Amferia’s scale-up journey in animal wound care.

Anand Kumar Rajasekharan, CEO of Amferia − “It is a true honour to work with Parvin, whose impressive knowledge of the field and guidance greatly strengthens Amferia’s position as a competent and cutting-edge SME with  precision in its numbers. We look forward to jointly grow the company, as we  set our sights on global growth of Amferia in animal wound care.

Parvin Zamani, Director of Partnerships & Strategy at Amferia − “I’m so proud and passionate about my collaboration with Amferia and I look so much forward to contributing to Amferia’s exciting scale up journey”

For more information, please  contact:
Anand Kumar Rajasekharan,  

CEO, Amferia,  +46 76 298 12 38 

anandk@amferia.com

Amferia AB signs major contract with Orkla Wound Care

December 4, 2023

Amferia has recently signed an exclusive Animal Health Private Label License and Purchase Agreement with Orkla Wound Care covering the Nordic region, Germany, Spain and Portugal for a period of 3 years with a possibility for extension.

Anand Rajasekharan, CEO of Amferia — “Orkla Wound Care’s market leadership in wound care will spearhead Amferia’s vision of addressing antibiotic resistant wound infections in animal health. We are inspired by this partnership, which will bring our innovation together with a leading brand to a market where there is considerable need for new solutions. Amferia’s innovation has already received strong interest and positive feedback from veterinarians from across Europe, who immediately notice the potential of our new antimicrobial material within wound and infection management.”

The joint partnership with Orkla Wound Care will enable Amferia’s technology, through Orkla leading brand Snögg Animal Care, to reach the wider European veterinary market where wound care and infection prevention is of prime importance. This has been intensified with the growing threat of antibiotic resistant infections. Amferia and Orkla Wound Care’s partnership will build on extensive data and feedback from Amferia’s clinical testing across Europe. The joint efforts will aim to market the products under the brand Snögg Animal Care from 2024.

Maria Lundman Hedberg, CEO of Orkla Wound Care “We are excited about our collaboration with Amferia and bringing their innovative products to market under the brand Snögg Animal Care.  Amferia's pioneering antimicrobial wound dressing aligns seamlessly with our dedication to providing cutting-edge solutions to veterinarians through our Snögg Animal Care range. This collaboration strengthens our position as a leader in wound care, both for humans and animals.

About Amferia                                                                                                                        

Amferia's antimicrobial amphiphilic hydrogel kills bacteria, even resistant bacteria without harming the body. The material was developed through several years of research in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology and the first product from this technology platform is a wound-care dressing for dry-to-low exuding wounds. Amferia's innovative, anti-microbial solution can be used on wide-ranging wounds from simple skin injuries, post-operative wounds to chronic wounds and trauma / burn wounds. The WHO predicts that antibiotic-resistant infections, including those from wounds could become one of the leading causes of both illness and death over the next ten years. The material is being investigated for continuous development in several other areas, including sprays for deep wounds, and coatings for implants and a variety of catheters. Read more about the products, team, technology and publications at www.amferia.com

About Orkla Wound Care

Orkla Wound Care has a long tradition of developing, manufacturing and distributing market leading products within wound care and first aid. Orkla Wound Care is a part of the Orkla group, a public listed company on the Norwegian Stock Exchange, known for its active portfolio management targeting fast-growing consumer segments and markets.

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For more information, please contact:                                                                                    

Anand Kumar Rajasekharan, CEO, Amferia AB, anandk@amferia.com, +46 762 981 238.                    

Maria Lundman Hedberg, CEO, Orkla Wound Care AB, maria.lundman-hedberg@orkla.se, +46 706 398 661

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Ingvar Karlsson joins Amferia as the CFO

November 27, 2023

Amferia AB is happy to announce the appointment of Ingvar Karlsson as the Chief Financial Officer. Ingvar has extensive background in  financial management within a broad area including the life-science industry.  

Ingvar has a solid background as the CFO from both public and private companies covering Life science and Medtech, Automotive and premium consumer goods spanning over 40 years. Today,  he works both on the Board of cutting-edge life-science SME’s as well as provide service as CFO for their successful growth. Ingvar’s extensive  knowledge in financial management,  supply chain processes and capital planning of life  science companies, will be important for Amferia’s scale-up journey in both  human and animal wound care.  

Anand Kumar Rajasekharan, CEO of Amferia − “It is an honour to work  with Ingvar, whose impressive knowledge of the field and guidance greatly strengthens Amferia’s position as a competent and cutting-edge SME with  precision in its numbers. We look forward to jointly grow the company, as we set our sights on global growth of Amferia both in human and animal wound care.

Ingvar Karlsson, CFO of Amferia − “I look forward working with the team at Amferia. The company has a very interesting journey ahead. Amferia is en route towards internationalization and distribution of its products through partnerships in multiple countries. I am glad to work with companies like Amferia improving healthcare for both humans and animals. ”

Amferia selected as one of Sweden’s best, young deep technology companies by Ny Teknik’s prestigious 33-listan

November 20, 2023

The significance of the list is that Amferia, as one among the 33 young Swedish companies is deemed to have high potential to become future growth companies. The companies selected to be on the list after rigorous evaluation by the jury, are judged to be innovative, have scalable business models and have the potential to grow quickly on the Swedish and global market.

Infections are a difficult healthcare problem, exacerbated by antibiotic resistance. Amferia’s innovative antimicrobial material is an effective, safe and sustainable way to address life threatening bacterial infections, especially within the filed of medical devices. This is equally important in both human and animal health, and we are bringing products built on our technology rapidly to the market.

The recognition by Nyteknik is an important achievement for Amferia attesting to our measured yet rapid progress of a deep technology breakthrough innovation to the clinic. And most importantly, our deepest gratitude to our collaborators in the clinics who clearly saw the need and importance of our technology in addressing an acute global healthcare threat.

Our colleague Edvin Blomstrand now holds a PhD in Materials Science from Chalmers

September 26, 2023

Amferia is thrilled to announce that our exceptional Research Engineer, Edvin Blomstrand, has successfully defended his doctoral thesis titled "Amphiphilic Hydrogels Functionalized with Antimicrobial Peptides for Wound Care" at Chalmers tekniska högskola. He now proudly holds the esteemed title of Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science. During his PhD journey, Edvin's contributions have played a pivotal role in shaping our product development at Amferia. We couldn't be more excited to have him continue this remarkable journey with us. With him on board, we are prepared more than ever to pursue our goals, push the boundaries of innovation, and make a meaningful impact in our field.

Join us in congratulating Dr. Blomstrand on this brilliant achievement, and we look forward to the amazing things to accomplish together in the future!

A warm welcome to Amferia’s new Board Members

September 4, 2023

We are proud to introduce the addition of three remarkable individuals to our Board of Directors. Each new member brings a wealth of diverse experience and knowledge  to our team which will further strengthen Amferia’s position in addressing antibiotic resistance and infection management.  

Alexandra De Wever Treschow has over 15 years of leadership experience within life science management and consulting including 4 years as CEO of diagnostics company Aprovix. Prior to that, Alexandra was managing partner of Stockholm-based inRikta Analys. She is co-founder and currently serves as CEO of NORDx Pharma. She holds a  PhD in Gene Therapy from Karolinska Institutet and an MBA from Quantic School of business and Technology, USA. 

Ulrika Ågren is presently an Investment Manager at Almi Invest focusing on medtech, healthtech and greentech. Ulrika has over 20 years of experience in the med-tech industry with specialisations in  intellectual property, innovation portfolio management, project management and business development. She is a certified board member and previously worked for global medtech companies such as Mölnlycke Health Care where she was Global IP Director and the biotech company Cellartis (now Takara Bio). Before joining Almi Invest Ulrika coached HealthTech startups at Sahlgrenska Science Park.

Jonas Bergman serves as an Investment Director at Chalmers Ventures. He brings with him great insight into the operations of med-tech companiesand how they can create long-term value. Jonas has a Master ofScience in Engineering fromChalmers University of Technology and has been CEO of both listed and unlisted life-sciencecompanies for many years. He has also worked as a management consultant forover 7 years with a particular focus in Biotech.

Amferia’s first human clinical study published

June 26, 2023

We are thrilled to share that our dedicated team at Amferia in collaboration with Chalmers tekniska högskola has published a randomised controlled study in the Journal of Wound Care that demonstrates the outstanding antibacterial performance of our hydrogel wound dressing.  We studied our wound dressing on intact human skin as a model to evaluate the speed and efficacy of the dressing to kill bacteria — and the results were truly remarkable!

By utilizing the Amferia Antimicrobial Hydrogel technology, we eradicated bacteria when placed in contact with skin within a short period of three hours.

By utilizing the Amferia Antimicrobial Hydrogel,   bacteria was eradicated within three hours.

These findings demonstrate the potential of our antibacterial wound dressing to significantly reduce the risk of infection in wounds, offering new possibilities for improved patient outcomes. This study lays the foundation for our future clinical studies in human wounds.

You can now access the article via the link:  https://lnkd.in/eTV7nMZg

Amferia raises SEK 15.4 million to launch innovative antimicrobial wound care dressing

January 27, 2023

The financing was raised from Almi Invest, Chalmers Ventures, and with several angel investors to support launch of Amferia’s first product, a wound care dressing with a patented hydrogel that actively combats infections and kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Amferia's innovative, anti-microbial solution can be used on wide-ranging wounds from simple skin injuries, post-operative wounds to chronic wounds and trauma / burn wounds. The WHO predicts that antibiotic-resistant infections, including those from wounds could become one of the leading causes of both illness and death over the next ten years.

“I am grateful to all our committed investors: Every year, nearly 1 million people die globally because of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria and at least a quarter of those infections begin with a simple wound on the skin. Amferia's wound care solution is a game-changer and will save lives. The resistance problem is even more challenging within the animal health sector.”, says Agneta Edberg, Chairperson of Amferia.

Amferia's wound care solution is a game-changer and will save lives.

Amferia's patented material, an antimicrobial amphiphilic hydrogel, has been developed through several years of research in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology and contains molecules inspired by body’s own immune system. The material instantly kills all bacteria (even antibiotic resistant) by binding to and disrupting their cell membranes, all without damaging the body’s own cells or entering the bloodstream. The first product from this technology is a hydrogel wound-care dressing for dry-to-low exuding wounds, while the material is also being investigated for development in several other areas, including sprays for deep wounds, and coatings for implants and a variety of catheters. In September of 2022, Amferia launched its first wound dressings for animal health in Sweden and plan on expanding across Europe during 2023. In parallel, the company is preparing to file for regulatory clearance in the US for human health.

The wound care market currently generates sales for over US $ 2 billion globally with a projected CAGR of 5 %. However, existing alternatives on the market often contain antibiotics that carry the risk of causing resistance or antiseptics that may harm body cells and negative environmental impact.

We already have our first product on the market for animal wound care in Sweden

“The investment enables us to perform three key tasks: scale up and launch our products for animal health in Europe, file for FDA clearance of the application for human health and thirdly initiate more clinical studies in both market segments. This ambition is supported by the fact that we already have our first product on the market for animal wound care in Sweden”, says Anand Kumar Rajasekharan, CEO of Amferia.

Pre-clinical research on new antimicrobial spray and coating technology published

January 26, 2023

Amferia announced today that it has, in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology, published two important scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals that describe the pre-clinical studies of its platform technology, Amphiphilic Antimicrobial Hydrogel as sprays and coatings for various medical device applications.

Amferia’s platform technology is an amphiphilic antimicrobial hydrogel material that can rapidly bind and kill all types of bacteria, even resistant bacteria, without harming the body. In an effort to enable further applications of this material, Amferia collaborated with Chalmers University of Technology to test and develop the patented technology as sprayable formulation and as coatings fight off bacterial infections in medical devices.

Today, the extensive pre-clinical data from this research has been published in two scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals*. The research was built on the formulation of the Amphiphlic Antimicrobial Hydrogel as small discrete particles, which were then further developed as sprayable form for wound care and as a coating on existing materials like silicone catheters. The results from these studies show powerful antimicrobial effect, safety to human cells while being stable in biological environments such as serum.

The material has been shown to be effective against many different types of bacteria, including those that are resistant to antibiotics

Martin Andersson, Professor at Chalmers University and Co-founder of Amferia − “Our innovation can have a dual impact in the fight against antibiotic resistance. The material has been shown to be effective against many different types of bacteria, including those that are resistant to antibiotics, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), while also having the potential to prevent infections and thus reduce the need for antibiotics,.”

The research was undertaken based on the strong potential of Amferia’s technology, but also based on a clear need from the human and animal health care system on fighting infections in the context of deep infected wounds as well as for various medical devices such as urinary catheters. Amferia and Chalmers will continue to collaborate on this research and are planning to further study the use of the new formulations in clinical settings, both for human and animal care.

We are seeing the great potential of our technology going beyond wound care into the realm of broader medical devices

Anand Rajasekharan,CEO of Amferia − “This is an important achievement for Amferia as we are seeing the great potential of our technology going beyond wound care into the realm of broader medical devices such as coatings and sprayable systems. Our current product is a wound dressing and we look forward to follow-up the same with these pipeline products that will have a stronger impact for addressing antibiotic resistance.”

*The scientific article on the formation of antimicrobial hydrogel particles as sprays and its in-vitro efficacy, safety and stability is published in Cross-linked lyotropic liquid crystal particles functionalized with antimicrobial peptides, Blomstrand et. al. 2022

*The scientific article on the utilisation of these particles as coatings on silicone materials is published in MultifunctionalSurface Modification of PDMS for Antibacterial Contact Killing andDrug-Delivery of Polar, Nonpolar, and Amphiphilic Drugs, Stepulane et. al. 2022