oncgnostics develops molecular tests for reliable cancer diagnostics based on proprietary epigenetic biomarkers. With seed financing through High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and the Thuringian Technology, Innovation and Research Foundation (STIFT), oncgnostics implemented a quality management system and developed its first test – GynTect®. This test allows for reliable diagnostics of cervical cancer and its pre-stages. Now, oncgnostics has raised a seven-digit Euro amount in a Series A financing round led by bm|t beteiligungsmanagement thüringen GmbH, along with two more new investors, Sparkasse Jena-Saale-Holzland and Anastasia Zepik. HTGF and STIFT also participated in this financing round and expanded their shareholding.
Udo Werner, CEO of bm|t beteiligungsmanagement thüringen GmbH, has followed oncgnostics’ activities since its establishment in 2012. “The oncgnostics team has made rapid progress in the development of GynTect®. The high market potential of such an early detection diagnostic test of one of the most prevalent cancers in women worldwide has motivated us to invest,” he said.
Dr. Alfred Hansel and Dr. Martina Schmitz, CEO and CSO at oncgnostics GmbH, respectively, are glad that the new investors, together with HTGF and STIFT, are providing sound financing for future activities. “This Series A round allows us to finalize the CE mark of GynTect® and to perform further relevant clinical trials. This will enable us to provide the test to patients, gynaecologists and diagnostic laboratories soon!”
Prior to the Series A closing, oncgnostics strengthened its management team; with his longstanding pharma industry experience, Dr. Peter Haug will lead business development & licensing.
“With high specificity and sensitivity, GynTect® detects cervical carcinomas and their pre-stages in women who have tested positive for HPV, the causal agent of cervical cancer,” said Prof. Matthias Dürst, Head of the Gynaecologic Molecular Biology functional unit at the Jena University Hospital’s Women’s Clinic and co-founder of oncgnostics.
Prof. Matthias W. Beckmann, Director of the University Women’s Hospital in Erlangen and key opinion leader in women’s health, agrees: “With GynTect® patients may obtain clarification after abnormal Pap smears and positive HPV test results. This may help to avoid unnecessary, invasive diagnostics and treatments and thus reduce healthcare costs.”
Professor Ingo Runnebaum, Director of the Gynaecology Department of the Jena University Hospital’s Women’s Clinic, added, “All women will benefit from a simple and reliable diagnostic test like GynTect®, since cervical cancer is almost always curable with early diagnosis.”
A spin-off of Jena University Hospital’s Women’s Clinic, oncgnostics focuses on in vitro diagnostic tests for the early and accurate detection of cancer utilizing proprietary epigenetic biomarkers. The diagnostic products allow earlier detection of more cancer cases and thus contribute to the improvement of therapeutic success. The initial product developed, GynTect®, allows the rapid and reliable detection of cervical precancerous lesions and cancer.
Erfurt-based bm|t beteiligungsmanagement thüringen gmbh is a subsidiary of the Thüringer Aufbaubank and is the management company for six investment funds with a total volume of €250 million. bm|t invests in innovative companies from all high-yield sectors and across all stages of a company’s life cycle, from start-up to IPO or MBO.
About Anastasia Zepik
Anastasia Zepik is Managing Shareholder of ITAI GmbH (Aschaffenburg), a company which invests in small and medium-sized enterprises with the perspective for success in growth markets. Well-positioned, innovative products are of prime importance for a positive investment decision.
About Sparkasse Jena-Saale-Holzland
For more than 185 years, Sparkasse Jena-Saale-Holzland has been a strong and reliable regional partner. With its large branch network, consultants are available for their clients in the immediate vicinity, allowing important decisions to be made quickly and locally. Sparkasse offers everything in one place, from checking accounts to real estate brokerage, and construction finance to commercial and corporate lending. As a public institution, Sparkasse is committed to the common good and economic development of the Jena-Saale-Holzland region and people who live there.
High-Tech Gründerfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gründerfonds invests €500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of €2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gründerfonds has about €576 million under management in two funds (€272 million HTGF I, €304 million HTGF II).
Via the Thuringian Network for the Formation of Innovative Companies (ThEx Innovativ), STIFT supports newly established technology-oriented and innovative companies. Furthermore, STIFT acts as side investor in the early-phase financing of high-tech companies. The concept’s degree of innovation and entrepreneurial potential are deciding factors for an investment from STIFT, without any focus on specific business areas. STIFT investments focus on the region of Thuringia.