MiMARK Diagnostics raises €1M to accelerate of its in vitro diagnostic assay for endometrial cancer
MiMARK Diagnostics, a spin-off of the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) specialising in the development of innovative solutions for gynaecological diagnostics with headquarters in the Barcelona Science Park, has raised €1M. This will enable it to accelerate the development of WomEC, its in vitro diagnostics assay for endometrial cancer. The operation has been led by the venture capital funds Clave Capital, Nara Capital and Namarel Ventures with the participation of the “Business Angels” WA4Steam network.
“This investment marks the beginning of a new stage for the company with new challenges, and empowers us to achieve our objective; improving diagnostics in gynaecology, making it a more accessible and less invasive diagnostic test for women”, explains Marina Rigau, CEO and co-founder of MiMARK Diagnostics. Rigau leads the femtech together with the co-founders Antonio Gil-Moreno, Head of the Biomedical Research in Gynaecology group of the VHIR and Head of the Gynaecology and Obstetrics service at the Vall Hebron University Hospital, and Eva Colás, CSO of MiMARK and principal researcher in the same VHIR group.
Transform gynaecological diagnostics through gynaecological fluids
The mission of MiMARK Diagnostics is to transform gynaecological diagnostics focussing on the use of gynaecological fluids as a source of biomarkers. “Gynaecological fluids allow us to perform a minimally invasive approach for the diagnosis of gynaecological diseases with unmet clinical needs, as these represent the tissues surrounding the gynaecological organs in a very specific way”, explains Eva Colás, CSO of MiMARK.
The company’s first product and beneficiary of the investment is WomEC, an in vitro diagnostic assay for endometrial cancer that is based on the analysis of proteins in the soluble fraction of a uterine aspiration sample. Endometrial cancer is the number one gynaecological cancer in developed countries, with more than 6,700 new cases per year in Spain. Diagnosis begins in women who have abnormal vaginal bleeding, although only 1 out of every 10 will have a diagnosis of endometrial cancer. Today, in an elevated number of women, diagnosis requires a biopsy to be carried out guided by a hysteroscopy, an invasive procedure that could be spared with WomEC.
“With the implementation of WomEC we will offer patients a less invasive, more precise and faster diagnosis of endometrial cancer, which will enable an improvement in the management of patients with suspected cancer”, highlights Antonio Gil-Moreno, co-founder of MiMARK, Head of the Biomedical Research in Gynaecology group of the VHIR and Head of the Gynaecology and Obstetrics service at the Vall Hebron University Hospital.
“MiMARK Diagnostics represents a great opportunity to improve the diagnosis of endometrial cancer, as well as the diagnosis of other pathologies such as endometriosis, for which the current diagnosis is long and complex”, highlights Ignacio Prieto, a company director on behalf of Clave Capital. Santiago Lozano, a Fund Manager at Clave Capital, adds that this new investment is “focussed on valuing research results from centres that are making a serious commitment to their transfer to the market”.
“The investment in MiMARK Diagnostics is a perfect example of what we want to achieve at Nara Capital: support companies of high-performance research centres at very early stages, with clearly disruptive technologies, with extraordinary human assets, to which we can contribute added value in knowledge and assistance, as well as capital”, notes for his part Joan Mercadal, partner of Nara Capital, another of the funds that have led the operation.
For WA4STEAM, an association of women business angels who invest in and support start-ups in STEAM areas, at early stages of development and led by women, “the investment in MIMARK Diagnostics fits perfectly” with the association’s values, “from the perspective of female leadership, as well as a technology-based project with a clear impact on women’s health”.