This week sees Scailyte, a Swiss company specialising in single-cell and AI-guided biomarker discovery, sign an agreement with US Hera Biotech, which will acquire the startup’s endometriosis diagnostic testing assets and associated intellectual property.
Basel-based Scailyte is an ETH Zurich spinout with an AI platform for discovering complex disease patterns from single-cell data. It provides insights that enable the discovery of new clinically relevant biomarker signatures by uncovering human’s hidden “single-cell” secrets.
In December, the company announced the extension of our Series A funding, bringing the total raised amount to $8 million. The financials of the current agreement have yet to be disclosed.
The IP acquisition creates an important consolidation of the only two tissue-based diagnostic programs for endometriosis.
The companies and their academic partners have performed research demonstrating significant changes in the transcriptomes of endometrium samples obtained from endometriosis patients compared to controls.
Specifically, researchers used Scailyte’s deep sequencing discovery platform to analyse more than 6 billion transcriptomic data points from 169 patients to develop complementary biomarkers and assays for the accurate and noninvasive diagnosis of endometriosis.
Hera Biotech was formed to apply advances in biotechnology to address unmet needs in the field of women’s health and specifically, in reproductive medicine.
The company’s initial goal is to commercialise a novel, non-surgical method for the definitive, early diagnosis and staging of endometriosis.
Hera intends to launch its first diagnostic product leveraging the Scailyte platform into the US fertility market in late 2024.
The company said it intends to follow this launch with a second product based on single-cell analysis for the definitive diagnosis and staging of endometriosis in the Ob/Gyn market.
Scailyte CEO Peter Nestorov shared:
“We are excited to work with Hera to integrate Scailyte’s endometriosis assets into the Hera pipeline.
“Through our collaboration with Professor Michael Mueller from the University of Bern, we have generated the largest single-cell RNA-seq datasets from peripheral blood and endometrial tissue.
The insights we gained clearly indicate that the tissue-based approach is the only way to capture the complexity and heterogeneity of endometriosis. Therefore tissue-based molecular assays will be the only viable alternative to laparoscopy for a definitive diagnosis and patient stratification.”
According to Somer Baburek, CEO of Hera Biotech:
"We are delighted that this partnership also affords Hera the opportunity to add Dr. Cinzia Donato to our executive team and Professor Michael Mueller to our scientific advisory board.
Dr Donato and Professor Mueller were the driving forces behind Scailyte’s endometriosis diagnostic program and bring a breadth of scientific and commercial skills to complement Hera’s in-house diagnostic programs."
Lead image: National Cancer Institute.