Navignostics announced the closing of their seed financing round with an investment of CHF 7.5M. Bruker Invest AG led the oversubscribed round, joined by Think.Health Ventures, Ventura Biomed Investors, and the Zürcher Kantonalbank. Navignostics aims to guide targeted and immuno-oncology therapy selection tailored towards the individual cancer patient’s tumor phenotype, by using artificial intelligence (AI) driven software, coupled to single-cell resolved spatial proteomic tumor data. This proprietary approach will also help accelerate oncology drug development and enable the discovery of companion diagnostic biomarkers.
Navignostics is a spin-off company from Prof. Dr. Bernd Bodenmiller’s group at the University of Zürich and was founded in April 2022 by Jana Fischer, Stephane Chevrier, Andrea Jacobs and Bernd Bodenmiller. “With this seed financing, we will boost our capacity to engage with clinical, biotech and pharma partners and accelerate the development of our first diagnostic product. We will take a big step in Navignostics’ company expansion by moving our team into our own laboratory and office premises, enabling the establishment of certified processes and further expansion of our world-leading team of scientists and business professionals,” said Dr. Jana Fischer, Co-Founder and CEO of Navignostics.
Dr. Frank Laukien, CEO of Bruker Corporation and also co-chair of the AACR Cancer Evolution working group, commented: “I believe that high-plex spatial single-cell proteomics has enormous potential for precision oncology, and for research towards a better functional understanding of the tumor microenvironment (TME). Navignostics has the innovative and visionary founders and leadership team to advance and translate spatial single-cell proteomics into clinical use for the near-term benefit of the many cancer patients, who may benefit from meaningfully longer progression-free or overall survival. These novel precision medicine highplex TME functional protein analysis strategies offer enormous opportunities for the future of onco-pathology and cancer tissue diagnostics.”
Dr. Florian Kainzinger, Managing Partner at Think.Health Ventures said “Our team was
impressed with the clinical impact the methods used by Navignostics were able to demonstrate at such an early stage in their company development. Their approaches offer enormous potential to shape pioneering strategies for future cancer therapy.”
“I am excited to support Navignostics in our shared vision of leveraging spatial single-cell proteomics to advance precision cancer medicine,” said Dr. Andreas Jenne, CEO at Venture Biomed Investors. “The company has a promising combination of team, technology and expertise and I am looking forward to complementing the Navignostics team with my experience in bringing diagnostic products to the market.”
Marie-Line Bachmann, Investment Manager Start-up Finance at ZKB, commented: "Spatial single-cell proteomics have the potential to augment current genetics-based diagnostics by directly characterizing the proteins of the tumor and the surrounding cells. We strongly believe that the extraordinary team around Jana Fischer will bring personalized medicine to the next level.”