Precision oncology genomics test developer Saga Diagnostics, Lund, Sweden, and Oslo, Norway, has announced completion of a $4.1 million round of venture-backed financing. The funding round was led by Hadean Ventures, a Nordic focused European life science fund manager, with participation from a number of the company’s existing shareholders, including Fårö Capital and the Gunnar Nilsson Cancer Foundation.
Saga’s technologies quantify aberrations in DNA, RNA, and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), and are uniquely capable of achieving limits of detection down to 0.001% mutant allele fraction. A spin-out from Lund University, the company has commercial agreements with a number of pharmaceutical company partners and biomedical laboratories for the use of its proprietary technologies, central lab testing services, and reagent kits.

“We are very pleased to have Hadean Ventures onboard, as one of the premier specialist life science venture funds in the Nordics,” says Lao Saal, CEO of Saga Diagnostics. “We are looking forward to working with the Hadean team to help shape a new era in cancer diagnostics to improve cancer survivorship.”

Saga’s products are based on massively parallel sequencing and digital polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technologies. Applications include patient stratification, companion diagnostics, monitoring response to cancer therapies, identifying disease relapse, and aiding treatment decisions for patients with cancers such as acute myeloid leukemia, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer.

“Saga is an excellent example of the world-class technology being developed in the Nordics that can help to solve global challenges in healthcare,” says Ingrid Teigland Akay, managing partner of Hadean Ventures. “We are proud to team up with Saga and look forward to helping the team develop their products further.”

The funds will be used to accelerate commercialization of Saga’s portfolio of kits and services, continue development of new products, and perform prospective clinical studies. In addition, the funds will support regulatory activities toward ISO accreditation of the company’s laboratory and CE marking of the company’s first kits, which are now under way.

“We believe liquid biopsies will be an increasingly important part of treating cancer patients in the future,” says Walter Stockinger, managing partner of Hadean Ventures and incoming board member of Saga. “What attracted us to Saga specifically is its unique platform technologies, which sets Saga apart in an exciting and developing field.”

For further information, visit Saga Diagnostics.