DBS System to raise up to CHF 12M to launch lab-on-chip device
for dry blood and plasma samples
Privately owned DBS System is seeking investors to raise a CHF 2m Series A by
4Q15 and a CHF 10m Series B in 1Q17, Chief Executive Officer Eric Ödman
said on the side-lines of the 20th MedTech Investing Europe Conference in
The Switzerland-based company has developed a microfluidic platform for
drawing blood and plasma samples.
Current shareholders are Ödman and the three co-founders — CTO Julien
Déglon, Julien Dumont and Aurélien Thomas — who together hold a majority
stake. A negotiable minority stake is available to new investors, he added. An
exit plan is anticipated for 2020 and could include a sale to a large player
focused on the provision of medical equipment to hospitals and laboratories,
The company is seeking to forge partnerships with major laboratory networks
such as LabCorp and Eurofins [EPA:ERF] with a view to building value and
revenues ahead of an exit. It has already developed sales channels into big
pharma, selling its blood sampling devices to Novartis [VTX:NOVN] and
Germany’s Merck [ETR:MRK], Ödman said.
The ease of use and versatility of the proprietary dried blood sampling device
has garnered interest from players outside of the pharma industry including
medical nutrition, and in future could interest players such as Nestle
[VTX:NESN], the CEO suggested.
Market launch for the first generation lab-on-chip device is expected in 3Q15
while the second generation plasma separation device is expected to be
commercialised in 3Q16, he said. The company’s first generation dried blood
spot standardised sampling device can be used in settings ranging from
clinical trials to surgeries.
The device replaces the need for needles and syringes: a drop of blood from
the finger is absorbed into micro-channels by capillarity and stored onto filter
paper. The device is then closed like a book and automatically seals itself so
that the blood is transferred onto a filter paper, dried and ready to be sent to
the lab for testing.
This overcomes issues typical to sample collection such as volume control and
hematocrit effect, Déglon said.
The company is also developing a second generation device for obtaining
micro samples of passively generated pure plasma. The device seeks to
overcome existing limitations related to volume control, plasmatic filtration,
standardisation and selectivity of the plasma, Déglon said.
The first investment will be used to scale-up production of its first generation
device, he said. The company is in the process of shortlisting OEMs for product
industrialisation, Ödman said. The funds will also be used for sales and
marketing support, he added. The company expects to receive the CE mark
this summer, he added.
The Series B will instead be dedicated to accelerating production of the
second generation device and the launch of the device in the US.
The only competitor in the space is US-based Theranos which collects fluid
blood samples at multiple points of care to be sent for laboratory diagnostic
DBS System’s advantage is that its samples are dried on filter paper for easier
storage and shipping. The company can also provide high purity plasma
samples, which typically involve lengthy procedures to obtain and are
required for testing creatinine and cholesterol in the blood, Ödman said.
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