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CRISPR-Chip Maker Cardea Bio Raises $7.5M in First Close of Series A2 Financing Round

NEW YORK – Cardea Bio said on Thursday that it has raised $7.5 million in the first close of a Series A2 financing round.

The round was led by a partnership of venture capital firms, including Tsingyuan Ventures, Lifespan Investments, and longtime Cardea investor Serra Ventures, as well as Agilent Technologies, Table Mountain Capital, Photon Fund, and Taihill Venture, the company said.

Cardea plans to use the capital to accelerate the growth and development of its infrastructure and CRISPR-based chips. The CRISPR-Chip, the company's flagship product, is a CRISPR-Cas9-based biosensor diagnostic device that uses a graphene transistor. Cardea has demonstrated the chip's utility in detecting Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and was looking to develop additional disease diagnostics, agricultural tools, and research tools using the same idea.

In September 2019, Cardea merged with Nanosens Innovations, the company it had teamed up with to develop the CRISPR-Chip. Concurrent with the merger, Cardea set up what it called an innovation partnership program, under which it accepted suggestions from potential partners on possible uses for the CRISPR-Chip. Since then, the company said it has received interest in potential product development partnerships from hundreds of companies, and expects the first "Powered by Cardea" chip products to launch in 2020 and 2021.

"We envision a future where 'Powered by Cardea' products, all running on the same type of chipsets, will significantly impact and improve large markets from human health, agriculture, food and water safety, diagnostics, and environmental monitoring to quality control, security, and drug development," Cardea Chief Business Officer Rob Lozuk said in a statement.