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Health Tech World Award-winner takes on global health challenge



Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest threats to global health, responsible for 1.2 million deaths every year.

Unless the issue is addressed, AMR could result in up to 10 million deaths annually, costing the global economy £66 trillion.

At 28 years old, Young Health Tech Leader of the Year Kirsty Smitten is CEO of MetalloBio.

Kirsty was one of five shortlisted entries in a very competitive category.

MetalloBio is directly addressing an unmet need through the development of its novel antimicrobial platform technology.

The platform can both treat and prevent infections as is being developed as a systemic antimicrobial and a coating for medical devices.

Kirsty developed MetalloBio’s antimicrobial technology to the point of preclinical in her PhD, showing proof-of-concept in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo.

Since incorporation Kirsty has secured over £800k in non-dilutive funding including an Innovate UK SMART Grant, Innovate UK ICURe Follow-on Grant, Innovate UK Young Innovators Award, Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowship, and UKRI funding.

She has also built a strong team including experts in drug development, business development and licensing, patent law, chemistry, microbiology, and materials engineering.

Within 18 months, Kirsty has grown the team from one member of staff to seven and has built a strong advisory board.

Health Tech World Awards judge Lizzy Sisley, Director Marketing Communications at LumiraDx, said:

“We’re super-impressed by what you’ve achieved.

“One of the key reasons for you being selected as the winner was the real global impact that your company can have.

“MetalloBio is developing an entirely new class of antimicrobial to tackle one of the biggest, looming global healthcare issues.

“The potential impact is massive, and we can see what you’ve been doing to develop your business with the right kind of stakeholders and experts to support you.

“The investment that you’ve gathered has been really impressive, too. So congratulations.”

In February 2023, Kirsty was diagnosed with primary cardiac angiosarcoma – a rare and aggressive form of heart cancer.

Kirsty documents her experience on her blog, Kicking the Big C with Kirsty.

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