Kirsty Smitten

Saving lives with a novel antimicrobial agent


MetalloBio Ltd





Yorkshire & the Humber



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Saving lives with a novel antimicrobial agent

Kirsty Smitten is a PhD level chemist, microbiologist and co-founder / CEO of MetalloBio, a University of Sheffield spin-out company.

Her passion for inorganic medicinal chemistry was sparked during her chemistry degree, when she became interested in the underexplored area of metals in medicine. Kirsty also experienced first-hand the negative effects of antimicrobial resistance when a friend developed an antibiotic-resistant infection.

She says: “Antimicrobial Resistance is currently responsible for 1.2 million annual fatalities and failure to address the issue by 2050 could result in 10 million deaths costing the global economy £66 trillion. Current antibiotics are failing and the World Health Organisation has highlighted a need for novel antimicrobial therapies. I wanted to put my research to good use and make a difference in this area.”

Kirsty’s PhD research resulted in the development of an entirely new class of antimicrobial, a true platform technology that can be used to both treat bacterial infections and help to prevent them through use as a coating for medical devices. The compounds that underpin the platform are more active than current antibiotics and exhibit little-to-no emergence of resistance, making it a radical departure from existing options.

Kirsty sees the Innovate UK Women in Innovation Programme as a fundamental step in her development as a CEO. She is looking to learn from other women innovators, to improve her delegation skills, and gain insight into pitching and fundraising strategies. Her ultimate goal is to drive MetalloBio to become a world-leading company in the fight against Antimicrobial Resistance, with the aim of saving lives.


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