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Hera Biotech Acquires Endometriosis Dx Assets From Scailyte, Raises $15M in Series A Round

NEW YORK – Hera Biotech said on Wednesday that it has signed an agreement to acquire the endometriosis diagnostic testing assets and associated intellectual property of Scailyte, a Swiss company specializing in single-cell and AI-guided biomarker discovery.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. In conjunction with the announcement, San Antonio, Texas-based Hera said that it has raised $15 million in a Series A financing round.

The companies and their academic partners have performed research demonstrating significant changes in the transcriptomes of endometrium samples obtained from endometriosis patients compared to controls. Specifically, researchers used Scailyte's deep sequencing discovery platform to analyze more than 6 billion transcriptomic data points from 169 patients to develop complementary biomarkers and assays for the accurate and noninvasive diagnosis of endometriosis.

In addition, the companies said they have completed clinical work showing that using tissue-based samples obtained from a nonsurgical pipelle will yield superior diagnostic utility compared to tests that measure secondary biomarkers from liquid biopsy samples.

Hera intends to launch its first diagnostic product leveraging the Scailyte platform into the US fertility market in late 2024. The company said it intends to follow this launch with a second product based on single-cell analysis for the definitive diagnosis and staging of endometriosis in the Ob/Gyn market.

Basel-based Scailyte is a spinout of ETH Zurich. Its ScaiVision data analysis platform associates multimodal single-cell data with clinical endpoints for biomarker discovery.

"We are excited to work with Hera to integrate Scailyte's endometriosis assets into the Hera pipeline," Scailyte CEO Peter Nestorov said in a statement. "Through our collaboration with professor Michael Mueller from the University of Bern, we have generated the largest single-cell RNA-seq datasets from peripheral blood and endometrial tissue. The insights we gained clearly indicate that the tissue-based approach is the only way to capture the complexity and heterogeneity of endometriosis, and therefore tissue-based molecular assays will be the only viable alternative to laparoscopy for a definitive diagnosis and patient stratification."

The companies expect to complete the transaction by the end of January 2024. Hera said it will disclose additional details about its Series A financing round next week at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.