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Multiomics Startup Pleno Closes $15M Funding Round

An earlier version of this story characterized Pleno's technology as a version of PCR. This story has been corrected to reflect that Pleno's technology is not PCR-based. We regret the error.

NEW YORK Molecular detection startup Pleno said Wednesday that it has closed a $15 million pre-Series A financing round led by investors including Medical Excellence Capital and Alexandria Venture Investments.

The San Diego-based firm said it will use the funds to develop and commercialize instrumentation based on its Hypercoding technology, which uses signal processing techniques derived from the telecom industry to enable highly multiplexed and high-throughput molecular assays.

According to the company, its instrument platform will be capable of detecting up to 10,000 targets per sample and processing up to 10,000 samples per day.

"The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the limitations of our current biological research and testing paradigms in terms of capability, scalability, throughput, and cost," Pieter van Rooyen, founder and CEO of Pleno, said in a statement. "Our technology was born from the desire to enable the simultaneous and rapid detection of more targets, from more samples at a dramatically lower cost, which we believe has the potential to democratize clinical multiomics and ultimately transform human health."

Pleno also announced that it had appointed Gregory Lucier, a biotech industry veteran and former CEO of Life Technologies, as chairman of its board of directors.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.