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, announces the raising of SEK 40 million in venture-backed financing (circa EUR 3.7 million, USD 4.2 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.”
About SAGA Diagnostics
SAGA Diagnostics (sagadiagnostics.com) is a personalized cancer genomics and disease monitoring company that offers molecular genetic testing of tissue biopsies and non-invasive “liquid biopsies” such as blood samples. SAGA helps pharmaceutical companies, scientists, and biomedical laboratory providers to detect actionable mutations, stratify patient groups, and monitor treatment response more accurately and to an industry-leading lower limit of detection of 0.001%. Analysis of circulating tumor DNA using these proprietary technologies gives SAGA unique ultrasensitivity, ultimately giving patients peace of mind.
About Hadean Ventures
Hadean Ventures (hadeanventures.com) is a European life science fund manager that invests in life science companies across Europe with a particular focus on the Nordic region. Hadean Ventures is managing funds backed by leading private and institutional investors including Saminvest and Argentum. Hadean Ventures has offices in Oslo and Stockholm and collaborates with world-class academic institutions and start-up hubs across the region.