15 August 2023
Lixa, an emerging biotech startup based in Western Australia, is on a mission to resolve recurring microbial infections and contaminations by developing a novel approach that makes resistant bacteria vulnerable to antibiotics and the immune system again.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when microbes such as bacteria and fungi become resistant to the drugs which once killed them - evolving into untreatable ‘superbugs’. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared AMR one of the top ten global public health threats facing humanity, cautioning it is possible that a “post-antibiotic era” may be coming, where minor infections – currently easily treated with common antibiotics – may become deadly.
One of the key contributors to AMR is biofilms, substances that act as protective barriers around bacteria and make them more resistant. Lixa’s NeoX™ platform, originally developed at The University of Western Australia, is an antibiofilm technology that dissolves biofilms to make bacteria vulnerable again. Notably, this antibiofilm technology has applications not only in human health, but in animals and plants as well.
Collaboration has been a vital component of Lixa's strategy from the start. Founders Dr Maud Eijkenboom and Dr Angela Fonceca, who now serve as Chief Executive Officer and Non-Executive Director of the company respectively, were originally introduced by the WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub’s Director Stakeholder Engagement Dr Tracey Wilkinson, who recognised the synergies between their work and facilitated a connection which led to the creation of Lixa and the foundation of a shared vision to address the looming AMR crisis.
Read more about Lixa's innovative approach to fighting superbugs, and how the WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub has provided support to this emerging WA startup in this month's case study.