Prepares for market entry with fast diagnostic instruments for hospital bugs
Munich (Germany), 1 July 2015 – GNA Biosolutions GmbH (GNA), a manufacturer of ultrafast pathogen diagnostic instruments, will receive fresh capital of € 6 million in a series B financing round. Founded in 2010, GNA welcomes new investors Robert Bosch Venture Capital (RBVC), SHS Gesellschaft für Beteiligungsmanagement GmbH, b-to-v Partners, and UnternehmerTUM-Fonds who are investing in its highly promising molecular diagnostics technology. The financing round was led by Robert Bosch Venture Capital. Existing shareholders include Mey Capital Matrix, KfW and the company’s founders.
Working with a laser-based PCR process, GNA facilitates reliable pathogen detection. The technology enables physicians and hospitals to diagnose bacterial diseases within minutes, with no need for time-consuming laboratory diagnostics. The specific DNA sequences for the pathogen under investigation are extracted and artificially multiplied (Polymerase Chain Reaction = PCR). The laser component of GNA’s technology is used for the necessary PCR thermo-cycling process (sample heating and cooling) and to read out results. Compared with traditional PCR diagnostics, this laser-based approach supplies results within just a few minutes. With low requirements in terms of sample preparation, it also facilitates the development of inexpensive diagnostics products.
GNA will use the funds from this financing round to bring its first product, the Pharos400 instrument, to market maturity. The Pharos400 processes samples with its integrated laser unit and allows a real-time detection and quantification of the results. Given its highly integrated diagnostics cartridges, Pharos400 will enable untrained hospital staff to quickly and easily obtain meaningful diagnoses. GNA will also work on developing tests for other hospital bugs. The company will focus above all on attracting university hospitals as its potential first customers.
Dr. Dieter Kraft, Investment Partner at Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, comments: “With GNA Biosolutions, we are delighted to be supporting a company which operates at the interface between sophisticated mechatronic engineering and the growing global healthcare market, and one that has developed key innovations in this market.”
“PCR is now one of the fastest-growing areas of diagnostics. In recent years, the molecular diagnostics market has become a cornerstone for the world of medicine and beyond. GNA’s novel laser-based process enables physicians to treat patients faster, safely and more effectively– especially when it comes to time-critical diagnoses”, remarks Dr. André Zimmermann, Partner at the Tübingen-based growth financer SHS. Reinhilde Spatscheck, Managing Partner at SHS adds: “What convinced us is GNA’s innovative technological approach and the great potential this new PCR technology has for deployment. SHS is keen to invest in diagnostics applications that offer great growth potential.”
Comments Johan de Ruiter, Lead Investor at b-to-v Partners: “Multi-resistant bacteria present a significant problem in Germany, where between 400,000 and 600,000 treatment-related infections occur each year. Given the ultrafast availability of test results, the technology developed by GNA Biosolutions GmbH is particularly suited to applications in point-of-care diagnostics. Not only that, applications in other areas offer additional potential for marketing the technology.”
Andreas Unseld, Investment Manager at UnternehmerTUM Fonds, adds: “The efforts and initiatives currently underway in the political arena to improve hospital hygiene and get the problems associated with multi-resistant bacteria under control also require rapid, meaningful tests and diagnostic instruments capable of use, for example, in patient admissions. We see GNA as being ideally positioned to play a major role in the diagnostics market in future.”
In view of this financing round of great importance to GNA’s further development, the company’s management team – Drs. Lars Ullerich, Federico Bürsgens and Joachim Stehr – have issued the following statement: “We have already benefited from the business and industry expertise of this team of investors during the contract negotiation stage. With this financing round, we are now well positioned to jointly tackle the next key technological development steps and strategic decisions.”