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Isospec Analytics secures $1.9M to help identify unknown molecules in minutes

Isospec Analytics
Picture credits: Isospec Analytics

When developing new drugs, nutritional products, or pesticides, unknown molecules must be identified correctly. But accurate identification is a lengthy process and all too often unsuccessful, leading to failed regulatory processes, or worse, consumer health being put in danger. Identifying a by-product or an impurity requires the combination of high sensitivity to detect trace amounts in a sample, coupled with the ability to generate data that can definitively identify the structure of a molecule. Existing tools lack either one or both of these capabilities. 

This is where Isospec Analytics from Switzerland comes into the picture. Its technology generates unique, information-rich metrics that allow for the rapid identification of unknown molecules in minutes instead of months. 

Raises $1.9M funding

Today, Isospec Analytics has raised $1.9 million in pre-seed funding led by Founderful (formerly Wingman Ventures), with additional participation from (invested in Cello),, and Venture Kick. It will use the investment to commercialise new technologies for molecular analysis, helping pharmaceuticals, nutrition, and agritech companies develop safer products and enabling researchers to discover new biomarkers.

Redefines molecular analysis

Isospec was founded in 2022 by Ahmed Ben Faleh, Stephan Warnke, and Thomas Rizzo. They partnered together to explore how they could redefine the process of molecular analysis to access new biological information and enable breakthroughs in diagnostics, therapeutics, and nutrition. 

It is an EPFL spin-off based in Lausanne, Switzerland, whose mission is to implement technology to discover new disease biomarkers, accelerate the development of therapeutics, and transform the future of clinical nutrition.

Based on over 20 years of research, the founders combined technologies from multiple disciplines – analytical chemistry, photonics, and cryogenic materials initially designed for space applications to build a tool that can generate a new data dimension about molecular structures. This allows for the identification of molecules that were unknown until now. 

Isospec’s breakthrough technology is already being used in the analysis of sugars and metabolites within the food and agritech industry to carry out quality control and support product R&D. However, the team believes the real potential of their technology is in the discovery of new biomarkers for therapeutics development and diagnostics.

“Unfortunately, mass alone does not uniquely determine the structure of a molecule. Several different molecules can have the same mass, called isomers, but different properties. For example, one isomer might be toxic, while another may be a life-saving therapeutic,” said Thomas Rizzo, Professor of Chemistry at EPFL.  

“In a human blood sample, there are 15,000 small biological molecules that can give precise information about a person’s health at any given time. However, less than 5% of these molecules can be identified. The ability to rapidly identify new molecules means we can now leverage the 95% unknown molecular space to develop treatments for the deadliest diseases,” said co-founder and CEO Dr. Ahmed Ben Faleh. 

“Isospec’s value proposition, which offers early access to its cutting-edge research in biomolecular analysis as a service, convinced us of the potential of the technology and the team,” added Alex Stöckl, partner at Founderful and board member of Isospec. “Isospec is one of the first 8 companies in which we have invested with our second fund, which aims to reach $120M.”

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