SAGA Diagnostics AB, a precision oncology genomics testing company focused on ultrasensitive monitoring of cancer patients using blood samples and other liquid biopsies and tissues, today announces the raising of SEK 40 million in venture-backed financing (circa EUR 3.7 million, USD 4.1 million). Hadean Ventures, a Nordic focused European life science fund manager, leads the round, and is joined by a number of existing shareholders including Fårö Capital and the Gunnar Nilsson Cancer Foundation.
SAGA’s technologies quantify aberrations in DNA, RNA, and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), and are uniquely capable of achieving limits of detection down to 0.001% mutant allele fraction. A spin-out from innovative research at Lund University, the company already has commercial agreements with a number of pharmaceutical partners and biomedical laboratories for the use of its proprietary technologies, central lab testing services, and reagent kits.
Lao Saal, CEO of SAGA Diagnostics said: “We are very pleased to have Hadean Ventures on board, as one of the premier specialist life science venture funds in the Nordics. We are looking forward to working with the Hadean team to help shape a new era in cancer diagnostics to improve cancer survivorship.”
The applications of the SAGA technologies, which are based on massively parallel sequencing and digital PCR, include patient stratification, companion diagnostics, monitoring response to cancer therapies, identifying disease relapse, and aiding treatment decisions for patients with cancers such as breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and acute myeloid leukemia.
Ingrid Teigland Akay, managing partner of Hadean Ventures, commented: “SAGA is an excellent example of the world class technology being developed in the Nordics that can help to solve global challenges in healthcare. We are proud to team up with SAGA and look forward to helping the team develop their products further.”
The funds will be used to accelerate commercialization of SAGA’s portfolio of kits and services, continue development of new products, and perform prospective clinical studies. In addition, regulatory activities towards laboratory ISO accreditation and the first CE-IVD marked kits are underway.
Walter Stockinger, managing partner of Hadean Ventures and incoming board member of SAGA, said: “We believe liquid biopsies will be an increasingly important part of treating cancer patients in the future. What attracted us to SAGA specifically is its unique platform technologies, which sets SAGA apart in an exciting and developing field.”