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Biocartis Raises $41.3M, Inks Companion Dx Partnership with Debiopharm

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Biocartis said today that it has raised €30 million ($41.3 million) in a Series B financing round.

Swiss biopharmaceutical conglomerate Debiopharm and Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation participated in the financing round as new investors, each thus obtaining a minority stake in Luassane, Switzerland-based Biocartis.

Debiopharma announced that it has entered into a partnership with Biocartis to develop companion diagnostics for therapies under development at Debiopharm. Under the terms of the collaboration, which will focus on oncology and infectious diseases, Debiopharm will contribute to biomarker discovery while Biocartis will provide its molecular diagnostic platform.

The Biocartis molecular diagnostic platform is based on proprietary nucleic acid sample prep technology that Biocartis acquired from Royal Philips Electronics in February. Biocartis said that it will use the proceeds from the financing to accelerate the development and validation of the platform.

Other participants in the Series B financing round included previous investors Aescap, Biovest, Advent Venture Partners, several Biocartis employees, and Benaruca, the family investment vehicle of Biocartis' co-founder and CEO Rudi Pauwels.

In October, Biocartis also completed a Series A financing round, netting approximately €10 million to support early development of the new platform.

Biocartis has developed and in-licensed a series of technologies to build a broadly applicable diagnostics platform for low- to highly multiplexed detection, quantification, and amplification of molecular-based biomarkers, including nucleic acids, proteins, and small molecules, in areas such as oncology and infectious disease.

Its technology portfolio includes digitally encoded microcarriers for capturing target biomolecules from samples; disposable microfluidic cartridges for sample input, processing, and analysis; compact instrumentation to use with the microcarriers and cartridges; and highly specific nucleic acid detection and isothermal amplification, according to its website.

Under the terms of its deal with Philips, Biocartis was to assume control of relevant Philips patents and technology know-how and finance development and commercialization of the platform. An undisclosed number of existing Philips staff members were also to be transferred to Biocartis, which formed a Dutch subsidiary called Biocartis BV located at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, near Philips' R&D facilities.