With an exponential increase in the rate of progress in biological research, the demand to understand how biological processes occur at a molecular level is becoming increasingly important. And, according to Amsterdam-based Lumicks, it wants to make a difference by unlocking the power of Dynamic Single-Molecule and Cell Avidity analysis.
Lumicks is a next-generation life science tools company that develops single-molecule analysis technologies for cancer research and cancer immunotherapy. In a recent development, the company has raised $93M (approx €77.6M) in its Series D round of funding.
Investors of Series D round
The funding was led by new investors Farallon Capital Management and Lauxera Capital Partners. In addition, investors Softbank Vision Fund 2, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Parian Global Management, Pura Vida Investments, and Irving Investors also participated in this round.
Besides, existing investor Gilde Healthcare and select members of the Lumicks management team also contributed to this round.
Power of Dynamic Single-Molecule and Cell Avidity analysis
The company was founded in 2014 as an academic spin-off from the research group of Prof. Gijs Wuite, Prof. Erwin Peterman, and Prof. Iddo Heller at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Founded by Andrea Candelli and Olivier Heyning, Lumicks is a life science tools company that develops equipment for Dynamic Single-Molecule and Cell Avidity analysis, two rapidly emerging areas in biology research and immuno-oncology.
“We empower researchers with tools that provide unparalleled insight into the fundamental cause of disease and the potential for drug optimisation,” the company mentions on its website.
The product portfolio of the company includes C-Trap, an integrated system with optical tweezers, confocal microscope, and microfluidic system to analyse protein folding, DNA repair, DNA organisation, Protein polymer, and filaments, etc.
Its product, AFS-acoustic force spectroscopy (a single molecule manipulation system), and u-Flux (an integrated microfluidic system), is used in performing experiments in a laminar flow environment.
The company aims to build the unfinished bridge between structure and function at the molecular and cellular levels. Using its product C-Trap Optical Tweezers – Fluorescence Microscopy, scientists are able to analyse complex biological processes in real-time. Similarly, the z-Movi Cell Avidity Analyser enables the measurement and selection of immune cells based on their real-time interactions with target cells.
The z-Movi Cell Avidity Analyser is a novel platform that rapidly measures the binding strength between target and immune cells, providing high-throughput results with single-cell resolution. Cell avidity data are key metrics that correlate with the biological outcome of cellular immunotherapies.
Cell avidity insights provide researchers with reproducible and predictive information about the best therapeutic candidates at an early stage, potentially leading to improved candidate selection and faster drug development.
Alex Slack, co-founder of Lauxera Capital Partners, says, “The z-Movi solution has the potential to drive remarkable advances in cancer treatment. It builds on Lumicks’ rapid innovation, anchored by its Dynamic Single-Molecule franchise that is expanding access to and the use cases for single-molecule force measurement.”
Since its release in 2020, the z-Movi has been adopted by biotech and pharmaceutical companies globally to accelerate the entry of cell therapies into clinical trials.
Use of the funds
Olivier Heyning, CEO of Lumicks, says, “With this fundraising, we believe Lumicks is well-positioned to drive significant growth of our Dynamic Single-Molecule platform and further accelerate the commercial adoption of the industry-changing z-Movi solution.”
A majority of the raised capital will be used to accelerate growth initiatives, including the expansion of both research & development and commercial activities for the z-Movi Cell Avidity Analyzer.