QureTech Bio was founded by leading researchers from Umeå University, Sweden, and Washington University, St Louis, USA to protect discoveries via patents and thus enable the development of new antibiotics. Here’s the  story behind.

Fredrik Almqvist QureTech Bio

In 1997 Fredrik Almqvist received his PhD in organic chemistry from Lund University and got a postdoctoral position at Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, US.

Fredrik, a synthetic chemist at heart, wanted to use computers to design molecules that could be used as drugs. He approached one of the world’s leading experts in the field, Professor Garland Marshall. The project involved a collaboration with a molecular microbiologist – Scott Hultgren. Professor Hultgren and his research group have been working on the microbiology of urinary tract infections – and continue to do so today. The research group maps in detail how the disease-causing bacteria work in the body and looks for methods to eliminate these mechanisms in new, antibiotic-saving ways.

Fredrik quickly became involved in scientific discussions with Scott Hultgren’s research group, and his time in the US laid the foundation for both a close friendship with the St. Louis professor and a long-term scientific collaboration. Scott placed great emphasis on the need for both chemists and crystallographers in the research groups, and so as a synthetic chemist Fredrik, was immediately invited to join one of the world’s top molecular biology laboratories.

Fredrik returned to Sweden with a promising method for molecular design and began building his research group at Umeå University, whose basic idea is to study how disease-causing bacteria work and how to kill or render them harmless.

In parallel, Fredrik and Scott continued their research collaboration on a E.coli project.
After several important and potentially life-saving research findings, such as the development of antivirulence agents against the bacteria responsible for several common infections such as Chlamydia, Listeria and urinary tract infections, the group felt they needed to protect their discoveries.
In 2010, Fredrik Almqvist, along with fellow researchers from Umeå University, Professor Sven Bergström and Professor Jörgen Johansson, and Scott Hultgren, founded QureTech Bio AB. The idea was that it would be a company protecting the discoveries via patents and thus enable the development of new antibiotics and no in-house research would be done in the company.
Shortly thereafter, discoveries from Christina Stallings, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, paved a new path for QureTech Bio. She is an expert on the tuberculosis bacterium, and through studies of compounds obtained from the research group of Fredrik Almqvist, they discovered new compounds, mycobacterial tolerance inhibitors, that could potentially improve tuberculosis treatment in the world.

After QureTech Bio was founded, the company received valuable support from grants, for example, from and Erling Persson Foundations and Vinnova, which enabled value-added activities such as drug-like testing.