miRdetect Receives Seed Financing – Consortium Invests Seven-Digit Amount in Serum Marker for Testicular Cancer Detection
May 2, 2019
- High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), BAB Beteiligungs- und Managementgesellschaft Bremen mbH (BBM) and a private investor invest in Bremen start-up miRdetect
- miRdetect develops an innovative and accurate test method for the detection of testicular cancer
Together with BBM and a private investor, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is investing a seven-figure sum in the start-up company miRdetect located in Bremen, and founded in 2016. The company founders Meike Spiekermann and Dr. Nina Winter were able to convince the investors with their novel and accurate method for diagnosing testicular cancer.
The innovative procedure developed by Meike Spiekermann and Dr. Nina Winter is used to detect testicular cancer with a novel blood test. Testicular cancer is currently the most common malignant disease in men between the ages of 20 and 45. Most excitingly, the method can also be applied for the diagnosis of other types of cancer if the correct, corresponding marker is identified.
Since 2011, Meike Spiekermann and Dr. Nina Winter have been working on the new tumor marker at the University of Bremen. From very early on, the two biologists recognised the high potential and applicability of their new discovery: “Previous markers have an accuracy of about 50 percent. With the patented diagnostic method developed by us, we can guarantee an accuracy between 90 to 95 percent,” explains Dr. Nina Winter. In order to optimize further product development, miRdetect also relies on the expertise of urologist Prof. Klaus-Peter Dieckmann, and human geneticist Dr. Gazanfer Belge, who are also both co-founders of the company.
“The excellent data on a very broad patient base are very convincing. The positive feedback from physicians from all over Europe also shows the benefits of an optimized diagnosis both for the therapy decision and for the patient,” said Senior Investment Manager Dr. Lena Krzyzak explaining the HTGF’s commitment.
About miRdetect GmbH
The start-up company miRdetect GmbH was founded in 2016 by biologists Meike Spiekermann and Dr. Nina Winter as well as the urologist Prof. Dr. Klaus-Peter Dieckmann and human geneticist Dr. Gazanfer Belge. Already in 2011, the two biologists, together with Dr. Gazanfer Belge, started researching a new tumour marker for testicular cancer at the Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Bremen and developed a test procedure for its detection. With the test kit developed by miRdetect, testicular cancer can be diagnosed with high specificity in the patient’s blood using a patented molecular diagnostic procedure. In addition, this procedure makes it possible to monitor the course of therapy and reliably detect a recurrence of the tumor. The method has the potential to be utilized for the detection of other types of cancer in the future. The six-member miRdetect team is currently working on making the research results marketable.
About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a seed investor that finances high-potential, tech-driven startups. With EUR 892.5 million in total investment volume across three funds and an international network of partners, HTGF has already helped forge more than 530 startups since 2005. Driven by their expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion, its team of experienced investment managers and startup experts help guide the development of young companies. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech startups in a range of sectors, including software, media, internet, hardware, automation, health care, chemistry and life sciences.
To date, external investors have injected over EUR 2 billion into the HTGF portfolio via about 1,400 follow-on financing rounds. HTGF has also successfully sold interests in more than 100 companies. Investors in this public-private partnership include the Federal Ministry For Economic Affairs and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., as well as the companies ALTANA, BASF, BAYER, B.Braun, Boehringer Ingelheim, Robert Bosch, BÜFA, CEWE, Deutsche Post DHL, Dräger, Drillisch AG, EVONIK, EWE AG, Haniel, Hettich, Knauf, Körber, LANXESS, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, PHOENIX CONTACT, Postbank, QIAGEN, RWE Generation SE, SAP, Schufa, Schwarz Gruppe, STIHL, Thüga, Vector Informatik, WACKER and Wilh. Werhahn KG.