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Qvella Raises $20M in Series B Financing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Developer of rapid, multiplex molecular diagnostics, Qvella, has raised $20 million in Series B financing, the company said today.

The funding round was co-led by the firm's existing investor syndicate, including RA Capital, Whitecap Venture Partners, Hatteras Ventures, and Sands Capital, which previously supplied Qvella $20 million in Series A financing. New investor BioMérieux also participated in the round.

Qvella is developing multiplexed PCR-based assays to detect infectious disease agents directly from patient samples using its proprietary electrical sample prep technique called Field Activated Sample Treatment, or FAST.

The Toronto-based company’s first product in development is a rapid bloodstream infection test that can detect pathogens causing sepsis from whole blood samples in under one hour. Qvella will now use the new financing to fund clinical trials, support ongoing research and development, and to facilitate team expansion and manufacturing scale-up, according to a statement.

"We have made a tremendous amount of progress since our last round of funding in 2015 and are grateful to our investors for their continued support of our vision of redefining rapid detection and subsequent treatment of septic patients," said Tino Alavie, president, CEO and cofounder of Qvella.

BioMérieux will also explore collaborative opportunities in complementary markets around Qvella's FAST technology, according to the statement.

"This investment in Qvella highlights our commitment to addressing the growing threats of antimicrobial resistance," Francois Lacoste, corporate vice president of the clinical unit at BioMérieux, said. "We have been truly impressed by the team at Qvella as well as the technology at the core of their innovation, and we believe that it could bring disruptive solutions to improve medical outcomes."

Qvella also announced that Frédéric Sweeney, vice president of corporate business development and strategic financing lead at BioMérieux, will now join Qvella’s Board of Directors.