About 475M people, or 10% of the global population, suffer from rare diseases, and over 80% of them are genetic.
On average, patients are diagnosed more than 7 years after the onset of the first symptoms, which leads to poor medical management and high costs for healthcare systems.
Approximately 30% of people undergo genetic testing and are then able to receive medical care tailored to their needs. Generally, genetic testing is a labour-intensive and time-consuming process making it untenable as a routine diagnostic tool.
Berlin-based startup Nostos Genomics changes this equation by improving the accuracy, speed, and accessibility of genetic testing.
Recently, the German company raised €5M funding in Seed Round with 42CAP, Frontline Ventures, Amino Collective, and Entrepreneur First.
Other investors in the round include Konstantin Mehl (Kaia Health), Robert Fenton (Qualio), and international backers such as Mark Evans (Kindred Capital) and Acequia Capital.
How will the funding be used?
The funding will enable Nostos to roll out its genetic disease identification technology to new European markets and the US, expand its development team and launch a series of studies.
Dr. Rocío Acuña Hidalgo, co-founder, and CTO at Nostos Genomics says, “Genetic disease impacts the lives of so many people across the world. Shockingly, many people spend their entire lives going from one medical doctor to another, without having a clear answer about what is causing their symptoms. Not only does this make treatment ineffective it can also add to their hardship. This is why we created Nostos Genomics. We wanted to find a way to help people with genetic diseases by enabling laboratories to significantly cut the time and labour associated with genetic testing to make it available to everyone.
“Our platform dramatically cuts the cost of genetic testing while also improving diagnostic accuracy. With this seed round we will be able to quickly expand our team, enter a series of new markets including the US and conduct more studies to further develop our platform,” he adds.
AI-driven genetic analysis platform
Founded in 2018 by David Gorgan (CEO) and Dr. Rocío Acuña Hidalgo (CTO), Nostos’ AI-driven platform ‘AION’ can identify gene variants responsible for more than 10,000 diseases.
The company’s solution reduces time from an average of 12 hours to within two minutes, increases the process accuracy, and reduces the chance of misdiagnosis.
Nostos Genomics’ CE-IVD certified procedure has already been launched Europe-wide, and patent proceedings for Nostos technology are pending in the USA.
Currently, data from Genomics England is being used for a large-scale validation study.
Thomas Wilke, General Partner 42CAP, said: Nostos Genomics has developed an incredibly exciting solution that will be a game-changer for genetic testing. It showcases how cutting-edge AI techniques can be practically applied to provide real-world value. Laboratories across the world will benefit from faster, easier, and more accurate testing which will in turn dramatically improve care for many patients. This funding marks an important step in Nostos’ journey and 42CAP will be there to provide its team every step of the way.”
Will Prendergast, Partner Frontline Ventures, said: “Rare genetic diseases remain incredibly difficult to diagnose and we have seen that Nostos Genomics’ technology can empower clinicians by providing them with faster, earlier, and more accurate diagnoses for such diseases. In a part of healthcare where so many patients struggle to find answers, we believe that the ability to interpret and analyse genetic variants quickly will not only improve patient outcomes but also their general wellbeing having lacked useful information for too long. We are really excited to work together with 42CAP, Amino Collective and David, Rocio, Ansgar, and the wider team in advancing genomic medicine.”