Biocartis raises EUR 64.5 million plus EUR 15 million for a new spin-off04.09.2014 11:06
Biocartis has successfully completed an EUR 64.5 million equity fundraising, one of the largest private rounds in the European life sciences industry in recent years. In addition Biocartis announced that it has combined its Swiss “Evalution” business unit with Belgian-based Pronota NV to jointly form MyCartis. MyCartis also completed a EUR 15 million equity round.
The capital round for Biocartis itself is subscribed by Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, Hitachi Chemical Corporation, PMV Tina Fund and a few existing and new family offices. The additional capital will fund the commercial roll-out of Idylla™ in Europe later this year, and the expansion of its commercial reach beyond Europe as of next year. Furthermore, the fundraising will also support and accelerate the development of a wide range of diagnostic tests for Idylla™. With this round, the total capital invested in Biocartis to date amounts to EUR 240 million (approx. USD 316 million).
Hilde Windels, CFO at Biocartis, stated: “We believe this major fundraising demonstrates the support for Biocartis’ ambition to make personalized medicine a truly sustainable, everyday practice. By intensifying the development of our assay menu, we intend to demonstrate the potential of Idylla in the field of oncology, infectious diseases and beyond. We thank our investors for their ongoing support and their belief in Biocartis’ groundbreaking role in transforming molecular diagnostics.”
New spin-off Mycartis
Biocartis’ Evalution platform, previously known as DMAT, is designed for rapid and cost-effective detection of a broad range of protein and nucleic acid biomarkers, making the system valuable for many clinical and pharmaceutical applications. Pronota has discovered and validated biomarker panels for a range of diseases. As such this content is an ideal match for Biocartis’ Evalution platform. MyCartis will continue the development of biomarker panels from the current Pronota laboratories (Technology Park, Ghent), to complement the current activities in Switzerland (Parc Scientifique - EPFL, Ecublens).
In order to execute and roll out MyCartis’ future ambitions, MyCartis has completed a financing round of EUR 15 million. The capital is subscribed by RMM (Rudi Mariën), Valiance and Biover II (Annie Vereecken). Paul Ladestein is appointed as MyCartis’ Chief Executive Officer. Paul joined Biocartis in 2013 as Evalution business unit manager. Being responsible for the establishment and expansion of Luminex EMEIA during the last 11 years, Paul has gained a lot of relevant expertise in serving the life sciences research and diagnostics space with multiplex technologies.
“We believe MyCartis is now all set for the launch of Evalution as a molecular biomarker multiplexing technology this fall. Furthermore, by combining the assets of Evalution with Pronota’s biomarker discovery expertise, MyCartis will be able to further expand its offering in the future,” said Rudi Pauwels, CEO & Executive Chairman of Biocartis.
Biocartis has developed a miniaturized, fully automated molecular system that integrates all molecular diagnostics steps in one easy-to-use system. Idylla offers clinicians fast and easy access to molecular diagnostics information, anywhere and anytime. It can be used for any human clinical sample type and covers the entire process from sample to result in a time frame of 35 to 120 minutes. Idylla enables clinical laboratories to perform a broad range of applications in oncology, infectious diseases and beyond. Idylla and the system’s first assay, the Idylla BRAF Mutation Test, have obtained CE-IVD marking.
About personalized medicine & molecular diagnostics
Every person has a unique genetic profile. Understanding and leveraging the molecular mechanisms underlying diseases empowers doctors to shift away from the one-drug-fits-all paradigm and tailor a treatment to the genetic profile of their patient, also known as ‘personalized medicine’. Specific molecular diagnostics tests can, for instance, tell a doctor what drug is the preferred therapy for a melanoma patient whose tumor carries a specific genetic mutation. Eventually, this makes treatments more effective, improves outcomes and ultimately reduces healthcare costs. However, in order to be truly sustainable and beneficial, molecular information needs to be gathered quickly and easily, at the point of need. Today, this is not the case. Most hospitals do not perform molecular tests in-house, but send the test samples to specialized labs where they are processed in batches, on multiple instruments and operated by highly trained personnel. This time-consuming and labor-intensive process delays treatment decisions which are often crucial to save patients’ lives.