VIDEM raises 5 MSEK for pioneering infectious disease diagnostics
PCR tests have cost the Swedish government SEK 22 billion throughout the pandemic. A new method will enable cheaper, faster and more accurate infectious disease diagnostics in point-of-care settings. EQT Foundation and experienced business angels invest SEK 5 million in VIDEM, a company within the Healthtech Accelerator at Sahlgrenska Science Park.
The ability to diagnose viral and bacterial infections quickly, accurately and at low cost is crucial in order to provide the right treatment early and to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance. VIDEM has developed a patented technology to diagnose infections in care settings or in the home, with accurate results in less than an hour.
“To meet the need for effective, accessible and patient-centric care, diagnostics need to be decentralized in a way that reduces the requirement to send samples to laboratories for analysis. Today, it may take several days for test results to be delivered,” says the company's CEO and co-founder Maria Barklund.
“Our technology is based on amplification of DNA/RNA and multiparametric readout for rapid and sensitive detection. The method is more controlled than PCR, it is applicable to all pathogens, and it enables analysis of different infections simultaneously," explains Maria Barklund.
The VIDEM founding team is comprised of Maria Barklund, Petter Barreng and researchers Maria Strömme, Teresa Zardán Gómez de la Torre, Aldo Jesorka, Dag Winkler and Sobhan Sepehri. The technology is based on many years of research in chemistry, biotechnology and nanotechnology from Chalmers University of Technology, Uppsala University, Karolinska Institutet, SciLifeLab/Stockholm University and RISE. The company was founded in 2021 and is today part of the Healthtech Accelerator at Sahlgrenska Science Park in Gothenburg, Sweden.
VIDEM has raised an initial investment of approximately SEK 5 million from Impact-First investor EQT Foundation, entrepreneur and tech investor Hans Victor, the business angel network E14 Invest, life-science-focused GU Ventures and experienced business angels.
“EQT Foundation is impressed by VIDEM's method to diagnose patients quickly and at low cost, and believe their product will benefit groups in society that are underserved today. By providing accessible diagnostics, VIDEM has the potential to create positive ripple effects throughout the entire healthcare system,'' says Cilia Holmes Indahl, Head of EQT Foundation.
"World-class research, a fantastic team and an incredibly important product that solves a current global issue – these factors made the investment decision easy," says Hans Victor, who together with the EQT Foundation led the investment round.
VIDEM currently has a prototype, proof-of-concept and patent protection. This investment will facilitate product development of a fully integrated system and pilot studies.
"Our initial focus is primary care, where the majority of all infection-related care visits and prescription of antibiotics take place. However, half of the world's population has no or insufficient access to diagnostics – so the need for VIDEM's technology is global," says Maria Barklund.
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