• The €13M venture fund supported by European Investment Fund (EIF) for angel and private co-investment, Sofia Angels Ventures announced that it had made its fourth investment, backing UK-based medtech startup Digistain.
• The startup has developed a platform technology that uses infrared light to detect chemical changes occurring in tumor samples, known to correlate with the progression of breast cancer disease.
• The funds raised in the current round are close to $1M round, and aside from Sofia Angels Ventures, investors include Y Combinator, several other private VCs, and a number of angels from across the world.
This is the first tumor profiling company to deliver a personalized risk report for breast cancer patients to aid physicians and patients decide whether cytotoxic therapy is needed in addition to endocrine therapy, Sofia Angels Ventures said in a press release.
Saving lives by detecting breast cancer much earlier
Therefore, the technology of Digistain promises to save lives, money, and suffering by detecting the disease earlier, and by making the diagnoses more reliable, so the oncologists do not over treat the way they currently do, Sofia Angels Ventures added.
“It identifies high-risk cancer patients more accurately than currently possible to help oncologists decide who gets the chemotherapy. It will operate a remote biopsy-testing lab to reduce breast cancer diagnosis error by 10X (from 40% to 3%) up to 5X cheaper than existing methods,” the Sofia-based venture fund points out.
Digistain solves the over-treatment problem with a quick (24h) cost-effective test that allows more patients to be tested than currently economically possible, and this is much faster than the current status quo, which can take up to two-three weeks.
Based on competitors’ case studies, this immediately allows hospitals and insurers to save 30 percent on chemotherapy.
According to Milen Ivanov, managing partner at Sofia Angels Ventures, the company is also planning to be active in the Southeast Europe region, including Bulgaria.
“The founders are from the UK but the business is targeting the US market and EU. They also plan sales in South East Europe, including Bulgaria. The deal was prompted by one of the angel investors and a member of CEO Angels Club – a Bulgarian that lives in the UK and that has invested in the company earlier,” Ivanov tells The Recursive.
Digistain now becomes the fourth company in Sofia Angels Ventures’ portfolio, which includes Bulgarian fintech Addit, agritech startup ONDO, and Swedish plastics alternative developer Hoting Innovations.
The funding will aim to help the company receive FDA approval, as well as complete new clinical trials, further build up the team and start commercial activities.