Biocartis closes Series 'B' equity financing round

Biocartis SA, a biotech company active in the field of personalized medicine and focused on fast, multiplexed and fully integrated molecular diagnostics based on its proprietary micro-technology and sample preparation platforms, today announced the successful closing of a Series B equity financing round. The Company raised EUR 30 million (~ USD 41.3 million) from its current shareholder base of leading life science investors and two new strategic investors from the pharmaceutical/diagnostic industry.

The new investors are the Debiopharm Group(TM) (Debiopharm) (Lausanne, Switzerland) and Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC), each thus obtaining a minority stake in Biocartis.

This financing round was also underwritten by Aescap, Biocartis' original lead-investor (The Netherlands), Biovest (Belgium), Advent Venture Partners (United Kingdom), several Biocartis employees and Benaruca, the family investment vehicle of Biocartis' co-founder Rudi Pauwels.

Biocartis has developed and licensed a series of new technologies to build a broadly applicable new diagnostics platform for low to highly multiplexed detection, quantification, and amplification of molecular-based biomarkers, including nucleic acids, proteins, and small molecules. Following its recent acquisition of the Philips' technology for rapid and fully automated DNA/RNA molecular diagnostic testing, Biocartis will use the proceeds of this round to accelerate its plans to finalize the development and validation of the first version of its proprietary new platform.

"Debiopharm recognized some time ago that companion diagnostics would play an increasingly important role in personalized medicine and the cost-effectiveness of healthcare in general" said Thierry Mauvernay, executive vice-president of Debiopharm Group, who added: "we are extremely happy to have started a new financial partnership with a dynamic start up company that has all the necessary strengths and management know-how to become a leading player in the field of in-vitro-diagnostics. Its potential combined with the various disruptive technologies it has created and licensed is perfectly in line with Debiopharm's own efforts at the frontline of innovation in life-sciences at large."

Dr. Pietro Scalfaro, from Debiopharm has joined the board of directors of Biocartis, now chaired by Dinko Valerio from Aescap. Dr. Scalfaro holds an MD with a specialty in pediatric intensive care medicine and led several drug development projects at Debiopharm before focusing on the development of their companion diagnostics strategy within a newly created business unit.

Rudi Pauwels, founder of Biocartis, Director and CEO, commented "This successful financing, within weeks after closing the acquisition of the Philips technology, is yet another important step in our plans to bring a novel and cost-effective diagnostic solution to the healthcare community. There is a global need to turn the many scientific advances in the understanding of the molecular basis of diseases and treatments into routine daily clinical practice. The commitment and support of the Biocartis Board members, shareholders and employees have been instrumental in Biocartis' rapid progress on this mission. I am particularly pleased that two new investors have now joined Biocartis. Our vision is of a future for medicine whereby the classical isolated elements of diagnostics and pharmaceuticals become more aligned and increasingly part of a much more integrated solution designed to optimize the outcome for the individual patient. Biocartis plans to actively work together with pharmaceutical, diagnostic and biomarker groups who can and would like to contribute to the practical realization of these goals."



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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