StemoniX® Secures $14.4 Million to Accelerate Commercialization of microOrgan® Drug Discovery Platforms
MAPLE GROVE, Minn., Feb. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- StemoniX® Inc., a biotech company revolutionizing how new medicines are discovered, announced today that it has secured $14.4 million USD in Series B funding from a group of institutional and private investors. Brightstone Venture Capital led the financing and was joined by many of StemoniX's initial investors, including Crescent Ridge Partners and SEED San Diego, as well as new investors, including Alumni Ventures Group, Keshif Ventures, and Mayo Clinic.
"We've seen incredible growth in the StemoniX customer base," said Patrick O'Shaughnessy, managing partner at Brightstone Venture Capital. "The company has achieved global traction with adoption of its products, such as microBrain® 3D Assay Ready, by key pharmaceutical customers. We're excited to expand our partnership with StemoniX and continue our investment in the future of human stem cell-based research and development."
StemoniX seeks to transform conventional drug development via ready-to-assay plates containing functioning microOrgans®, including active neural circuits (microBrain®) and beating heart cells (microHeart®). Engineered from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), microOrgans enable high-throughput drug screening for efficacy and toxicity to bring safer and more effective drugs to patients more quickly. microBrain 3D reflects key aspects of native human brain tissue in both structure and function, offering improved outcomes for neurological drug discovery and neurotoxicity research, as highlighted in a recent paper in Toxicological Sciences. StemoniX's innovative microHeart® platform, recipient of a 2018 Edison Award™, contains spontaneously beating iPSC-derived human heart cells for cardiac drug discovery and safety research. Both platforms have received CONNECT's Most Innovative Product awards.
StemoniX's microOrgan platforms, produced using scalable, high-volume manufacturing processes, offer the potential to deliver significant cost and time savings to the pharmaceutical industry by enhancing the safety, consistency, and accuracy of human clinical trials that today rely on animal models and limited human testing as predictors of drug interactions across an entire patient population.
StemoniX distributes its ready-to-use human iPSC-based screening products globally to pharmaceutical research and development organizations. Through its Discovery as a Service business, the company leverages its microBrain and microHeart platforms to develop custom iPSC-based disease models, test compounds using its in-house screening capabilities, and operationalize their customers' human iPS cells in large scale for high throughput screening. The pharmaceutical industry is realizing the value of microOrgan platforms across the entire drug discovery process: from phenotypic and/or targeted screening to identify new therapeutic modalities, through target identification and compound validation spurring new development, to safety and toxicity testing that brings about the next generation of medicines.
The new financing will allow StemoniX to expand its commercial operations at its sites in Minnesota and California supporting the company's microBrain, microHeart, and Discovery as a Service offerings. StemoniX will also use the financing to drive development of new products and services leveraging its industry-leading stem cell technologies.
"We are grateful to have the confidence of investors who deeply believe in our vision to enable medicine to work the first time," reflected Ping Yeh, co-founder and CEO of StemoniX. "We're leading the industry of human microOrgan screening products with our focus on consistent, physiologically-relevant, high throughput stem cell-based technologies. With the Series B funding, StemoniX is poised to open new markets to accelerate drug discovery and development for our customers."
StemoniX is empowering the discovery of new medicines to treat challenging diseases via the world's first ready-to-use assay plates containing living human microOrgans®, including electrophysiologically active neural (microBrain®) and cardiac (microHeart®) cells. Predictive, accurate, and consistent, StemoniX's products enable pharmaceutical scientists to quickly and economically conduct high-throughput screening in a simplified workflow. Through their Discovery as a Service branch, the company also partners with organizations to screen compounds as well as create customized microOrgan models and assays tailored to individual discovery and toxicity needs. Visit www.stemonix.com to learn how StemoniX is helping global institutions humanize drug discovery and development to bring the most promising medicines to patients.
About Brightstone Venture Capital
Since 1985, Brightstone Venture Capital has been one of the most active early stage investors in the Midwest helping extraordinary entrepreneurs build extraordinary companies. Brightstone has provided growth capital, industry connections, and strategic advice to successful companies such as: Celcuity, BiteSquad, Gravie, Atavium, StemoniX, VRChat, CHF Solutions, Compellent, Definity Health, AppTec Labs, Gentra, XioTech, Intratherapeutics, SpineTech, and many other growth-oriented companies nationwide.
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