How GlycanAge is revolutionising preventative healthcare with $4.2M seed round

Now armed with $4.2 million, European biotech not-realy-a-startup GlycanAge is using glycobiology for personalised healthcare and longevity.
How GlycanAge is revolutionising preventative healthcare with $4.2M seed round

In a letter to French physicist Jean-Baptiste Le Roy dated 1789, American statesman Benjamin Franklin wrote, “... but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

While Mr. Franklin could not have possibly known the reception these worlds would receive some 200 years on, as a civilisation we’ve advanced greatly, both in terms and forms of taxation, and that of our ultimate demise.


And so is the case with GlycanAge, a European-founded startup that’s using biotechnology to potentially help us live longer, if not healthier along the way. The company uses glycobiology, the study of the structure, biosynthesis, and biology of saccharides (a.k.a. carbohydrates, sugar chains, or glycans) to provide personalised, preventative healthcare.

Today, the company announces a $4.2 million seed round to help them press forward in their quest to provide customers with a pinpoint accurate biological age, as opposed to that of the Gregorian calendar, a diagnosis that, according to GlycanAge, provides individuals with a true measurement of where they stand in the passage of time.

A 20-year-old startup

To refer to GlycanAge as a startup is hardly fitting. For a full picture of  GlycanAge’s roadmap, we need to turn back the pages of time by approximately two decades and follow the developments of the company’s co-founder, chief scientific officer, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Zagreb, director of the National Centre of Scientific Excellence in Personalised Healthcare, honorary professor at the University of Edinburgh and King's College London and member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars, Gordan Lauc. 

In conjunction with his team, Dr. Lauc has been advancing glycomic analysis and leveraging the power of glycan biomarkers for precision medicine, culminating in the initiation of the Human Glycome Project in 2017.

Thanks to some $40 million in grant funding and a lot of late nights in the lab, GlycanAge is the commercialisation phase of these approximately 20 years of research.

Lauc shares:

"I am thrilled to see that glycan research is finding its way to the market. After pioneering high-throughput glycomics 15 years ago we analysed glycans in over 200,000 people and identified numerous potential biomarkers that can be applied in the field of personalised preventive medicine.

"Glycans are the ultimate layer of molecular complexity, but their biomarker potential still needs to be fully translated into commercial applications that will benefit human health. GlycanAge is the global pioneer in this respect and its success will advance the entire field of glycomics."

Moreover, the team at GlycanAge says that this LAUNCHub Ventures led $4.2 million seed round will enable the company to move beyond the longevity space in stretch deeper into the potentially even more lucrative diagnostics market and establish a clear regulatory strategy and product pipeline. 

Alongside LAUNCHub Ventures, UK deep tech fund Kadmos Capital participated in backing GlycanAge, with the firm’s partner John Gebeily commenting:

“With the pace of change now faster than ever, it’s vital to back high-impact technologies that will deliver solutions to tomorrow’s biggest problems. GlycanAge’s vision lies at the crossroads between preventative healthcare, diagnostics and longevity.”

Lead image: The GlycanAge team. Photo: Uncredited.

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