Genetic Testing Pioneer DnaNudge Announces Completion of $60 Million Series A Investment Led by Ventura Capital
First major funding round will accelerate global deployment of transformative rapid genetic testing solutions – including world’s first lab-free COVID-19 gold-standard RT-PCR test
Consumer genetics testing and medical diagnostics pioneer DnaNudge today announces that it has successfully completed a $60 million Series A investment round led by investment company Ventura Capital. DnaNudge’s first major fund-raising round includes participation from the world’s largest independent wealth manager Bank Julius Baer.
This funding round will enable DnaNudge to accelerate global deployment of its breakthrough rapid genetic testing solutions – including the first ever sample-to-result RT-PCR COVID-19 test (‘CovidNudge’), which is in use in healthcare settings around the world.
DnaNudge is also providing CovidNudge testing as a private consumer service and is playing a key role in the safe return of the UK’s cultural sector. World-leading arts organisations benefiting from DnaNudge’s regular pool testing of staff and performers include the Royal Opera House (home of the Royal Ballet), the London Symphony Orchestra and Glyndebourne opera house.
DnaNudge’s successful delivery of a portable, clinical-grade point-of-care testing platform – which delivers accurate results in just over an hour, without the need for a laboratory or any manual sample pre-processing – is generating intense commercial interest from healthcare providers, private organisations and government bodies worldwide. DnaNudge has entered into a number of significant wholesale supply agreements, delivering its COVID-19 rapid, lab-free test at scale to major international healthcare companies – including one of the leading European medical groups.
The CE-marked CovidNudge test was adapted in record time last Spring from DnaNudge’s on-the-spot consumer DNA testing service, available at its flagship store in London’s Covent Garden. DnaNudge offers the world’s first service to use consumers’ own DNA plus lifestyle factors to nudge people towards healthier and more personalised choices while shopping.
The DnaNudge Nutrition service analyses and maps users’ genetic profiles to key nutrition-related health traits such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol, enabling customers to be guided by their DNA towards healthier eating. The company is shortly extending its consumer genetics services into personalised skincare shopping. Last month, DnaNudge was named the winner of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s MacRobert Award, the UK's longest-running and most prestigious national prize for engineering innovation, in recognition of DnaNudge’s foundation testing platform. Capable of a high level of multiplexing, with 72 different testing wells available on a single testing cartridge, the DnaNudge testing platform offers the ability to test simultaneously for all known SARS-CoV-2 virus variants, FluA, FluB, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), plus markers indicating genetic risk for key health conditions – all on the same test cartridge, from sample direct to result.
Regius (Royal) Professor Chris Toumazou FRS, FREng, FMedSci, CEO and co-founder of DnaNudge and founder of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London said: “The game-changing nature of our innovation has created an extraordinary commercial opportunity within next-generation medical diagnostics, and the global investor community is very excited by the transformative potential of a rapid, gold-standard RT-PCR testing platform that can screen for multiple viruses simultaneously. We are delighted to have completed this successful fund-raise which will allow us to dramatically speed our plans for worldwide availability, particularly in the US, Japan, Europe, and other key territories where interest is extremely high.”
Mo El Husseiny, founder of Ventura Capital and now Vice Chairman of DnaNudge commented: “We methodologically reviewed the world’s most promising breakthrough innovations in commercialised disease testing technology and set our sole focus on DnaNudge. The gold-standard RT-PCR platform brought to market by DnaNudge is a quantum leap in terms of PCR testing time, cost and ease. With the ability to quickly add screening for multiple emerging disease variants on the same testing panel, the clinical applications for this technology are exponential. What Professor Toumazou and the DnaNudge team have achieved is historic in terms of their contribution to not only COVID-19 rapid testing but more importantly their multi virus testing products. Powered by this investment, DnaNudge is well-positioned to become the new standard for disease testing globally.”
Dr. Giuseppe De Filippo, Managing Director of Bank Julius Baer, who acted as sole placement agent for Ventura Capital, added: “We are very proud to have been part of such a large Series A capital raise into this breakthrough technology. The unprecedented level of interest in DnaNudge highlights the willingness of investors both to help resolve the current COVID crisis, and to support the growth of a company built on exemplary scientific credentials. Our investors are highly discerning, and the insight into this validated technology and its future clinical and commercial applications offered by Professor Toumazou’s team and Ventura Capital was instrumental in securing this major fund-raise.”
About DnaNudge (http://www.dnanudge.com) DnaNudge is the developer of the world’s first service to use consumers’ own DNA plus lifestyle factors to nudge people towards healthier choices while shopping. The DnaNudge Nutrition service analyses and maps users’ genetic profile to key nutrition-related health traits such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol, enabling customers to be guided by their DNA towards healthier eating. The service has been developed by world-renowned biomedical engineer Regius Professor Chris Toumazou FRS and published geneticist Dr Maria Karvela.
This ground-breaking DNA testing service created to address an epidemic – obesity and Type 2 diabetes – has been successfully adapted for the fight against a pandemic, with the development of the rapid, lab-free CovidNudge RT-PCR test. CovidNudge can accurately detect COVID-19 and other viruses in just over an hour, without the need for a laboratory, and is in use in healthcare settings around the world.