Integrated Diagnostics Launches with Pre-eminent Team and Investors
14 October 2009
Dr. Leroy Hood-led venture secures $30 million Series A financing from InterWest Partners, Wellcome Trust and dievini
SEATTLE — Integrated Diagnostics launched officially today with more than $30 million in funding. A pre-eminent team of scientists and investors are behind the company, which was founded by renowned biotechnology innovator Dr. Leroy Hood. Integrated Diagnostics will focus on developing personalized and preventive diagnostics based on breakthroughs using genomic and proteomic technologies to identify organ-specific proteins. The company will be developing diagnostic tools to help patients and physicians detect disease in its earliest stages. Building on research from Dr. Hood, Dr. Jim Heath and other leading scientists, Integrated Diagnostics is creating powerful diagnostic tools and innovative biomarkers that will help define the coming transition to health care that is predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory.
“Just as the DNA sequencer allowed us to decode the human genome, the technology behind Integrated Diagnostics will allow us unprecedented insight into preventing and treating diseases like cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s by analyzing the proteins that appear in their earliest stages,” said Dr. Hood, current president of The Institute for Systems Biology (ISB); and inventor of the DNA sequencer, which played a crucial role in the mapping of the human genome. “I have had the good fortune to found several successful biotechnology companies. I believe Integrated Diagnostics will prove to be among the most significant. By taking a systems approach to monitoring an individual’s health we will be able to provide physicians and patients an early warning system for preventing and treating diseases.”
Integrated Diagnostics will have access to Dr. Hood’s groundbreaking research at ISB investigating protein blood markers that can report on the physiological state of the body’s 50 major organs. His research uses genomic and proteomic techniques to identify blood proteins that are only synthesized in the organ of interest and then identifies subtle changes that result from disease or treatment. By monitoring concentrations of these proteins in the blood, disruptions in healthy function can be detected and traced back to the diseased organ. This work is based on the concept of a systems view of disease where pathophysiology arises from disease-perturbed networks of proteins, genes, and other molecules.
Through its research collaborations, Integrated Diagnostics possesses proprietary data on organ-specific proteins across a range of human organs. These protein panels are applicable to many diagnostic modalities including early detection of disease, stratification of disease types, and monitoring disease progression and recurrence. The company’s technology is applicable to a broad scope of diseases, including cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
“Integrated Diagnostic’s research enabling technologies will allow us to cut in half the standard development times for diagnostics,” said Dr. Hood. “In addition, the company’s technologies will ultimately permit the rapid analysis of blood biomarkers from just a fraction of a droplet of blood, at a cost of less than one dollar per protein measured.”
InterWest Partners, a diversified venture capital firm, led the $30 million Series A financing for Integrated Diagnostics and was joined by The Wellcome Trust and dievini Hopp Biotech holding. dievini’s participation in the Series A financing is part of a collaboration with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, which plans to become part of the investor group in the future.
Integrated Diagnostics is the first commercial enterprise to emerge from a unique $200 million public-private partnership – announced in 2008 – between the nation of Luxembourg and three American research institutions, including ISB.
“Luxembourg is very pleased to be part of Integrated Diagnostics as we seek both to improve the quality of health care and spur the development of the biotechnology industry in our country,” said Patrizia Luchetta, deputy director, Board of Economic Development for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. “This venture is an important element of our long-term plan to advance Luxembourg’s research and commercial capabilities in systems biology and personalized medicine.”
As part of the investment, Integrated Diagnostics will have access to research from the ongoing research collaboration in systems biology between Luxembourg and ISB, which also involves the development of the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine.
“Integrated Diagnostics represents two important investing models,” said Dr. Arnold Oronsky, general partner at InterWest Partners. “The first is an innovative public-private investment partnership that seeks to achieve advances in health care, a return on investment and to spur the growth of a nation’s health care industry. The second model is the growing importance of investing in science that helps us to understand the complex biological systems that influence many diseases. There is a huge market for diagnostic tools that can make sense of that complexity; we believe Integrated Diagnostics is well placed to meet that need.”
“We are optimistic that systems biology will become a critical tool in the development of personalized medicine and believe that Integrated Diagnostics is at the leading edge in this field,” said Julie Eskay-Eagle, Head of The Wellcome Trust Health Care Investments.”
Dr. Hood is the founder of more than a dozen biotechnology companies, including Amgen, Rosetta Inpharmatics and Applied Biosystems. Integrated Diagnostic’s other founders include:
- Jim Heath, Ph.D, professor of chemistry at Caltech. Dr. Heath directs the National Cancer Institute-funded NanoSystems Biology Cancer Center, and has been a founder of a number of startup companies, including MTI (acquired by Siemens in 2005), NanoSys, Inc., and Momentum Biosciences, which is a biotech incubator currently operating in Los Angeles.
- David Galas, Ph.D, professor at ISB and past VP/CSO of the Battelle Memorial Institute, an international non-profit science and technology organization. Dr. Galas served as president and CSO of Chiroscience R&D following their acquisition of Darwin Molecular Corporation, which Dr. Galas co-founded in 1993. Prior to his involvement in the biotechnology industry, Dr. Galas served as director for health and environmental research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, where he headed the DOE’s Human Genome Project from 1990 to 1993.
- Paul Kearney, Ph.D, chief scientific officer of Integrated Diagnostics. Dr. Kearney is also scientific director of special projects at ISB, where he helped establish the collaboration in personalized medicine between ISB and the University of Luxembourg. Previously, he was vice president, bioinformatics at Caprion Proteomics, a leading provider of proteomics services for biomarker discovery.
About Integrated Diagnostics
The mission of Integrated Diagnostics is to leverage powerful emerging technologies in the development of diagnostic products and measurement technologies that enable physicians and patients to manage complex and important diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s through blood tests that can monitor tens to hundreds of disease markers simultaneously. The company is developing a pipeline of game-changing diagnostic products that enable the diagnosis and prognosis of a variety of diseases. The company is based on the concept of a systems view of disease where pathophysiology arises from disease-perturbed networks of proteins, genes and other molecules.
About InterWest Partners
For 30 years InterWest has partnered with exceptional entrepreneurs to build winning technology and life sciences companies. With more than 200 years of combined operating and investing experience, InterWest’s team has raised $2.8B, completed more than 70 IPOs, and participated in nearly 60 upside acquisitions. As the firm invests InterWest X, a $650M fund, InterWest continues to believe that providing capital is just the beginning of a long-term collaboration with entrepreneurs to turn their vision into a thriving company.
About The Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is the largest charity in the UK. It funds innovative biomedical research, in the UK and internationally, spending over £600 million each year to support the brightest scientists with the best ideas. The Wellcome Trust supports public debate about biomedical research and its impact on health and wellbeing.
About dievini Hopp BioTech holding
dievini Hopp BioTech is the life sciences investment firm of SAP co-founder Dietmar Hopp. Led by Friedrich von Bohlen and Christof Hettich, dievini focuses on oncology, CNS, cell-based therapies and personalized medicine. dievini’s approach is entrepreneurially driven, with the goal of building organizations that create and support synergies between therapeutic and personalized medicine approaches. dievini and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg are collaborating in pursuit of this common goal.