May 25, 2022 | Funding for pathology diagnostics, rapid DNA sequencing, AI-powered disease detection, and more.
$381M: New Fund for Biomedical Technology
Catalio Capital Management announced the successful close of its third venture fund, Catalio Nexus Fund III (“Fund III” or the “Fund”), with more than $381 million in total capital commitments, exceeding its original 300-million-dollar target. In addition, the Fund received significant backing from current Catalio investors and several new global institutional investors, foundations, and endowments. Consistent with the successful approach of its predecessor vehicles, Fund III will invest in breakthrough biomedical technology companies at all stages of growth, from inception to IPO.
$147.5M: Series B Funding for Parkinson’s Disease Therapy
Aspen Neuroscience, a private biotechnology company developing autologous cell therapies, including the first iPSC-derived autologous neuron replacement treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD), announced the close of its Series B funding round of $147.5 million. The Series B funding will support the planned studies of the company’s lead product candidate for Parkinson’s disease, ANPD001, including its patient Screening Cohort study and the upcoming Phase 1/2a clinical trial, post-IND submission to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
$90M: BPA for Data Protection and Security
Palantir Technologies announced its selection by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for its 5-year Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). This $90 million BPA will allow HHS officials to select the Palantir platform to support their work. Palantir’s built-in data protection features, innovative technology, and common security framework were deemed well-positioned to address critical technology needs across HHS. As a result, Palantir’s first task under the contract’s framework is to support HHS’s core administrative data and applications through a vertically integrated platform. This allows teams to configure low to no-code applications to securely manage, ingest, and access data across business domains.
$40M: Series B for Patient-Centric Clinical Trials
Curebase raised $40 million in Series B funding to continue the development of its end-to-end clinical trial execution model, virtual and hybrid site capabilities, and complete eClinical software platform to run modern, patient-centric clinical trials. In addition, this funding will deepen Curebase's breadth of powers beyond the virtual experience: via more complex site and community healthcare interfaces, a richer range of clinical software and services, and more robust capabilities for interventional drug sponsors and global studies.
$18.3M: Donation for Lund Disease Research Program
The University of Edinburgh secured a £14.7 million donation from Baillie Gifford to launch a new research program to develop treatments for lung infections such as Covid-19 and future pandemics. The Baillie Gifford Pandemic Science Hub will use translational genomics–following clues from the human genome to identify and rapidly test new treatments–with experimental medicine methods to quickly evaluate and develop drugs for lung inflammation and injury caused by infection.
$18M: Funding for Diseases of Aging
Character Biosciences, a precision medicine platform for diseases of aging, announced that it raised $18 million in a new funding round led by Innovation Endeavors. This latest round of funding provides capital to accelerate the buildout of clinical genomic platforms in dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss with no approved therapy and two other genetically defined indications. Further, the company will use the funding to advance two lead drug candidates that have achieved in vivo proof of mechanism.
$15M: Pre-Series A Funding for Biological Target Detection
Pleno Inc., a multi-omic instrument platform company working on biological target detection for clinical testing and biomedical research, announced the close of $15 million in Pre-Series A financing. The company was founded by Pieter van Rooyen, a biotech engineer who built and sold his last company, Edico Genome, to Illumina for $100 million. Pleno has developed a unique enabling technology called Hypercoding, which leverages signal processing techniques derived from the telecom industry to deliver ultra-high plexity targeted biological information–including DNA, RNA, methylation, and proteomic content–at unprecedented scale, precision, and performance. The newly raised funds will support the development of Pleno’s Hypercoding instrument platform, capable of detecting up to 10,000 targets per sample and processing up to 10,000 samples per day, via a simple, low-cost workflow.
$11.5M: Series B for Pathology Diagnostics
Deciphex, an Irish pathology software provider, announced the closing of an $11.5 million Series B funding round. Deciphex uses digital pathology and artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate pathology diagnostics, improving productivity and patient outcomes. The company will leverage the funding to continue driving global growth and consolidate its position in clinical and non-clinical pathology. They will use digital pathology and AI, focusing on enhancing the company's Patholytix research pathology platform and launching its Diagnexia clinical service in the United States, the UK, Canada, and the Middle East.
$7.9M: Trial Funding for Barret’s Esophagus
Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health and Care Research are jointly investing £6.4 million in the new Cytosponge trial (BEST4). A landmark study proves that the Cytosponge detected more Barrett’s esophagus cases than routine GP care. The trial will explore if the Cytosponge can prevent deaths from esophageal cancer when offered as a screening test to people on long-term medication for heartburn, which is one of the most common symptoms of Barret’s esophagus. It will also investigate if the Cytosponge, coupled with additional lab biomarker tests, can be used to monitor people already diagnosed with Barret’s esophagus instead of using the traditional endoscopy method.
$7M: Venture Capital for DNA Sequencing
Sequentify raised $7 million in funds led by Israel’s venture firm, OurCrowd. The funds will be used to accelerate the company's R&D, delivery, and go-to-market plans. Sequentify, a Weizmann Institute of Science spinoff, enables fast and focused DNA sequencing. It combines synthetic biology and AI software tools to allow rapid DNA sequencing.
$1.6M: Seed Funding for Pharmaceutical Analytics
Novilytic, a biochemistry analytics and nanotechnology molecular recognition company, has completed a $1.6 million seed round and a $1.4 million National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovation Research grant. The investments include contributions from Purdue Foundry and Elevate Ventures. This fundraising round supports and enhances Novilytic's offerings and will speed up the market entry of its consumables for pharmaceutical analytics. Pharmaceutical chemists will use these nanotechnology-based tools to test antibody quality in-process—a novel concept in the analytical chemistry and drug development industries. Novilytic is eyeing a late fall 2022 or early 2023 release date for its consumables.
Undisclosed Funding for Lung Health Intelligence
VIDA Diagnostics, Inc. (VIDA), a precision lung health company, announced it had secured financing as it scales up to support the strong demand for its VIDA Intelligence Portal. This AI-powered solution supports clinical trial decentralization and improves site recruitment, onboarding, staff training, image data management, and data quality. In early April 2022, VIDA received market authorization in Japan for its VIDA Insights software, which is a complementary data-driven solution used by lung care teams at the point of care, aiding them to detect diseases early, diagnose with more confidence, make more personalized treatment decisions and use precision lung intelligence to manage population health better.