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Estonian Polygenic Risk Score Firm Antegenes Raises €2.3M in Seed Financing, Government Grants

NEW YORK — Antegenes said on Wednesday that it has raised €2.3 million ($2.3 million) in seed financing and government grants. The funding will allow the Estonian genetic testing firm to scale its team and introduce its polygenic risk score tests for the prevention of cancer to new markets.

Tartu-based Antegenes said that €1.6 million of the funding came from a seed round led by Timo Rein, cofounder of Pipedrive; Pipedrive investor Peep Vain; and entrepreneurs Aare Kurist and Andreas Henn Otsmaa, with participation from other Estonian investors and entrepreneurs. Investment bank Keystone Advisers and law firm Sorainen, both based in Tallinn, acted as advisers for the round.

The remainder of the funding came from two government grants. The BRIGHT project, financed with €2.3 million by EIT Health of which €500,000 went to Antegenes, aims to implement the AnteBC breast cancer genetic risk test in Estonia, Portugal, and Sweden. The second grant of €200,000 came from the Norway Grants Green ICT program, which supports business cooperation between Norway and Estonia and will see the same test implemented into routine screening in Norway.

Antegenes Founder and CEO Peeter Padrik said in a statement that the investment will help the four-year-old company reach new markets. The company offers a series of genetic tests, developed and validated using population data from the Estonian Biobank and UK Biobank, that rely on polygenic risk scores to assess a patient's predisposition to developing certain cancers, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and melanoma.

According to Padrik, Antegenes is already active in its home market as well as the UK, and has begun operations in Sweden, Norway, Portugal, and Spain. In coming months, Antegenes will also enter the German market, he said.

"Our vision is to implement this internationally with our partners," said Padrik. "This is why the current investment round is very important for our growth and next steps."