Brescia, Italy-based Diadem SpA, a company developing the first blood-based test for the early prediction of Alzheimer‘s disease (AD), announced on Monday that it has raised €10M in the first tranche of its equity funding.
This new funding comes after the company’s earlier grant of €7.5M from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Investors in this round
The current round was led by new investor CDP Venture Capital and existing investor Panakès Partners.
CDP Venture Capital is an asset management company that is 70 per cent owned by CDP Equity and 30 per cent owned by Invitalia. The VC has over €1.6B of assets under management. The firm aims to make venture capital a strategic pillar of Italy’s economic development and innovation, creating the conditions for a comprehensive and sustainable growth of the venture capital ecosystem. It operates through a series of funds that aim to support startups in all their life cycle stages, making both direct and indirect investments.
Enrico Resmini, CEO and GM of CDP Venture Capital, says, “Diadem is a unique technology, developed at the University of Brescia, an advanced research centre, and offering the opportunity of intervening in the very early stages of the pathological process when the chances of success of the intervention are greater. We are very satisfied with our investment in Diadem, which also meets our criteria of social impact and stimulation of research in the life sciences sector.”
Existing investor Panakès Partners is an Italian venture capital firm in the Life Sciences sector. Its goal is to provide a better life to people all around the world through financial and business support to build the next generation of ‘game-changing’ technology companies in the field of Life Sciences. The firm invests in ambitious startups and SMEs with innovative products globally, with a focus on Europe and Israel.
Drug development for Alzheimer’s disease
About 50 million people suffer from dementia worldwide and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form, accounting for 60-70 per cent of cases. There are no disease-modifying treatments for Alzheimer’s and therapies to treat symptoms are limited.
According to Diadem, there are about 10 million new cases per year and is rising rapidly as the population ages. The current total cost of care is enormous, estimated at $1T in the US annually and expected to double by 2030. Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is slow, inconclusive, invasive, and expensive. The development of effective therapies for Alzheimer’s has been hindered by the lack of accurate and cost-effective prognostic and diagnostic methods.
This is where the Italian company wants to make a difference. Founded in 2012 as a spin-out of the University of Brescia, Italy, Diadem claims to develop the first blood-based prognostic test for the early detection of dementia, with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease.
The company claims that its rapid, accurate and cost-effective blood-based prognostic test, AlzoSure Predict, makes it possible for the first time to identify patients early in the disease process when effective interventions and better outcomes are far more feasible.
Diadem is preparing for the commercialisation of AlzoSure Predict in collaboration with global strategic partners. It is developing the AlzoSure Predict assay as a simple, non-invasive plasma-based biomarker test to accurately predict the probability that a patient aged over 50 years with cognitive impairment will progress to Alzheimer’s dementia.
The company is also developing AlzoSure Confirm, a blood-based diagnostic test for AD that has shown promising results in early studies.
Diadem claims that the funds will help continue its global commercialisation and further clinical validation of AlzoSure Predict. Its utility is supported by clinical data from a large longitudinal study that was the basis for AlzoSure Predict recently gaining a CE-IVD mark and a breakthrough device designation from the US Food & Drug Administration.
Dr Gerald Möller, Chairman of the Board of Diadem, says, “Under Paul Kinnon’s exceptional leadership, Diadem will use the funds to further expand the company’s global organisation to support our unique prognostic assay that could revolutionise the Alzheimer’s field. This funding in conjunction with the recently announced EIB loan agreement will provide Diadem with the capital to support the company as it commercialises AlzoSure Predict and builds a successful global enterprise.”