Pluriomics, an emerging biotech company located in Leiden (The Netherlands) and specializing in the delivery of innovative cardiomyocyte models, has raised €4 million in a Series A round to strengthen its R&D and commercial team in Leiden, while setting-up its production facility in Gosselies (Wallonia region, Belgium).
Bridging traditional laboratory tests and clinical testing
Pluriomics’ ambition is to implement its cardiomyocyte models (derived from induced pluripotent stem cells and based upon patented technologies) at various stages of drug discovery to improve decision making, reduce attrition rates and provide an alternative for animal testing. The company – created in 2010 – is now ready to launch its Pluricyte cardiomyocytes (human cardiac muscle cells) which cell based assays will be used to detect potentially toxic side-effects of new medicines early in development. “These tests provide a unique, novel platform bridging traditional laboratory tests and clinical testing in patients”, explains Stefan Braam, Chief Scientific Officer of Pluriomics.
A strategic fundraising opportunity for Pluriomics…
Herman Spolders, co-founder and CEO of Pluriomics, acknowledges that these resources arrive at a strategically important moment to support the growth of the company but also to meet the expectations of the market. “Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly interested in stem cell derived cardiomyocyte assays driven by the prospect of more efficient drug development and the regulatory push to incorporate this technology in the next drug development guidelines”.
… but also for Wallonia
Pluriomics was looking for investment but also for a site where to set-up its future production facility. Wallonia became a self-evident choice for the Dutch company since the region is home to a fully integrated cluster of cell therapy SMEs (Bone Therapeutics, Cardio 3 BioSciences, MaSTherCell, Novadip BioSciences, Promethera BioSciences).
“We started to hire 3 people to set up the production in steps in the Euroscreen building. We had choosen to move in an existing facility to make a quick start. Our first job is to install the equipment, bring over production protocols and have the facility certified. We expect that the number of employees will increase well in the coming years. The Series A funding will help Pluriomics to set up production this year, expand our product development activity but also marketing and sales organization. Our products are under evaluation of several potential customers all over the world“, says CEO, Herman Spolers.
An international investors consortium
The consortium of investors includes Vesalius BioCapital (venture capital funds located in Luxemburg), Sambrinvest (venture capital funds active in the region of Charleroi-Thuin, Belgium), the SRIW (Wallonia Regional Investment Company) as well as Innovation Quarter (Dutch venture capital fund) which have injected €2.9 million while the shares of the founders of Pluriomics brought a value of €1.5 million.
“We wanted to pool shareholders from both of the structures, in Belgium and in the Netherlands. This operation shows that all the efforts that we have deployed to support the Health sector of Wallonia are now bearing fruit”, declares Philippe Degive from SRIW.
“There is a real need for innovation to reduce attrition rates in the pharmaceutical drug development process and Pluriomics’ technology can be of great contribution towards that goal”, explains Alain Parthoens, Managing partner of Vesalius BioCapital.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer