Swiss biotech startup Hedera Dx raises €14m seed funding to accelerate global adoption of liquid biopsies
Hedera Dx, a Swiss biotech startup, has raised €14 million in funding to launch a blood-based testing solution to profile cancer DNA circulating in the blood, helping patients access better treatments.
The round was led by Adam Ghobarah, founder of Top Harvest Capital and former longtime executive at Google and Google Ventures, with Inventure, Air Street Capital, Amino Collective and GRIDS Capital also participating. In addition to launching commercially, the company will use the funding to implement the first phase of a large oncology Real World Evidence (RWE) clinical testing program.
According to cancer.org, 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. To make sure patients get access to the best treatments, tumors need to be analyzed on a molecular level. However, the current methods have limitations (e.g. IVD compliance and validation are challenging to achieve and existing software workflows still represent the bottleneck). In addition, for up to one-third of patients diagnosed with lung cancer, obtaining a traditional tissue sample is not possible, which may prevent patients from receiving therapies targeted to their specific tumor’s makeup. Hedera Dx will now be launching a blood-based solution that radically streamlines the process of finding the right regulatory approved therapy for each cancer patient, enabling hospital labs to run clinically actionable liquid biopsies in-house.
Tommi Lehtonen, Co-founder and CEO, Hedera Dx: ''We’re beyond excited to launch Hedera Dx and to work with investors who share our vision of providing life-saving information for cancer patients. The adoption of liquid biopsy testing and the information from these analyses will also take our understanding of cancer to the next level and unlock new possibilities in cancer care. With our funding, we can bring a liquid biopsy solution for in-house laboratories to the market and make a clear impact on clinical practice.''
Due to the numerous hurdles for hospital laboratories, the clinical adoption of liquid biopsies has been limited. Hedera Dx will be providing a combination of an in-house laboratory assay and an end-to-end software registered as an IVD medical device, Hedera Prime, to overcome all these hurdles with one seamless solution. After a straightforward onboarding, laboratories can start running liquid biopsies using a laboratory assay and the Hedera Prime software, having a streamlined workflow through analytics, reporting and therapy options.
Christian Meisel, Co-founder and CMO, Hedera Dx: ''I am proud that we enable hospital laboratories and oncologists to offer hope and new treatment possibilities for patients coping with cancer, helping them and their families to thrive and lead a better and longer life.''
In parallel, the company will launch an associated Real World Evidence (RWE) program, looking to create the landmark data asset on the real-world usage of liquid biopsy and related cancer patient outcomes, which will help unleash the potential of this promising type of biopsy in cancer care.
Adam Ghobarah, Founder, Top Harvest Capital: ''We were impressed by both the Hedera Dx team and vision to introduce a global platform for liquid biopsy tests that will ultimately save lives in the long run. “The use of liquid biopsy tests in early detection, therapy selection, and recurrence monitoring is crucial to push cancer care forward. Hedera Dx will be fulfilling a critical role in bringing ML-based diagnostics to mainstream clinical care at scale.''