[Corrected 9:30 am PT. See below.] Biosensor startup Biolinq said Thursday it has raised $4.75 million from new investors, including the New York-based Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, following the results of a clinical study of its experimental biomarker monitoring device.
Founders Jared Tagney and Joshua Windmiller, who met while in grad school at UC San Diego, started the company in 2012 as Electrozyme. The company began focusing on the technology it is currently developing in 2015, Tagney said. It’s seeking to commercialize a nickel-sized patch that’s designed to gauge blood-glucose level and take other measurements when the device is applied to the skin.
The San Diego startup is initially developing the device for patients with diabetes who regularly monitor the level of glucose in their blood. It uses sensors to test fluid in the uppermost layer of the skin.
Now new investors have signed on to support the development of the product.
The idea is that the patch, which the company describes as “pain-free,” would replace finger sticks and other more invasive monitoring methods. If it works to monitor glucose, the company plans to apply it to other health indicators, too.
Investors including the JDRF’s T1D Fund; Mill Valley, CA-based Aphelion Capital, and LifeSci Venture Partners, the VC arm of LifeSci Partners, a consulting firm in New York, participated in the new financing round, the startup said.
In 2017, the company added $10.25 million to its coffers in a Series A financing round led by M Ventures, an investment arm of German pharma giant Merck. Hikma Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of London-based Hikma Pharmaceuticals, also invested. [A previous version incorrectly identified the firm that led the round.]
Biolinq described the latest financing as an extension of that 2017 round. The add-on brings the company’s total Series A funding to $15 million.
Between the financings, the company moved to a new office where it set up a pilot manufacturing facility to produce the sensors that power the product it is developing, and completed its first study in people, Tagney said. He described the results of the study as “very positive” but wouldn’t share details such as the number of patients in the study or its duration.
The fresh cash will go to fund future studies with more patients and a longer timeline, and advance the device toward commercialization, Tagney said. Biolinq, which has about 20 people on staff now, will grow to more than 30 employees by year’s end, he added.