Multiplicom NV can accelerate growth following a EUR 5.5 million capital injection by Gimv, PMV, Rudi Mariën, Qbic and VIB

08/02/2013 - 17:45 | Portfolio

Multiplicom NV, a Belgian start-up specialised in molecular diagnostics, has succeeded in raising EUR 5.5 million from a group of experienced life sciences investors. The shareholder consortium has been joined by Flemish investment company PMV, RMM (Rudi Mariën) and Qbic ARKIV Fund. The original investors – Gimv, the Gimv-managed Biotech Fonds Vlaanderen and VIB – continue to support the growth of the company. VIB will again be making an investment in kind. This capital increase gives Multiplicom the opportunity to develop further diagnostic tests, fund international validation studies and expand its European sales channels.

Multiplicom NV was formed in 2010 as a spin-off of the University of Antwerp and VIB. It is specialised in the development, production and sale of user-friendly genetic tests based on highly innovative molecular diagnostic technologies. The tests make it possible to identify an increased genetic risk to develop a disease, identify congenital defects at an early stage or identify the most suitable therapy for patients. It gives clinical genetics labs the option to explore the latest generation of personalised medicine in an affordable way.

In 2012, Multiplicom was the first business in Europe to be awarded CE certification for its test to detect genetic defects that might indicate an increased risk of ovarian cancer or breast cancer. The company is also continually working on the development of tests for other conditions.

For research applications, Multiplicom is already selling kits for cystic fibrosis, bowel cancer, heart failure, kidney disease and muscle disease. From 2013, validation studies will also be conducted with a view to obtaining CE certification. Also in 2013, Multiplicom is planning the introduction of a new series of kits that can detect DNA mutations in cancerous tissue. Consulting physicians can use the information obtained to select the most appropriate therapy for their patient.

Dirk Pollet, CEO of Multiplicom: "This capital injection will allow us to carry out our ambitious plan to develop innovative molecular diagnostic kits and to remain at the forefront of European businesses in this new branch of medicine."

In the past year, Multiplicom has confirmed its huge growth potential in molecular diagnostics. It is therefore no surprise that there was a lot of interest from new investors willing to back the company. We are pleased, given the prevailing difficult investment climate, that the second round of funding has concluded successfully," says Christophe Van Vaeck, Associate Health & Care at Gimv.

"It is clear that diagnostics will play an increasingly important role in keeping medicine affordable in the coming decade," says Bram Vanparys, Life Sciences Investment Manager at PMV. He adds: "The way in which the experienced management team at Multiplicom valorises the VIB technology as innovative diagnostic tests could not be better aligned with PMV's vision in this market. This is why PMV is very enthusiastic about its role in the continuing growth story of Multiplicom."

"Multiplicom's technology is state-of-the-art and differentiates itself by its simplicity in the complex world of genetic tests," says Marc Zabeau, serial entrepreneur in biotech and Managing Partner at Qbic.

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