Capital for fluorescent mini-antibodies – new benchmarks in cell research
High-Tech Gründerfonds and Bayern Kapital are investing about EUR 400k in Chromotek GmbH. The investment is intended to fund research and development work aimed at ensuring successful market entry for chromobody technology in the field of living cell analysis.
Chromotek GmbH, an enterprise spun off from the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, develops and distributes chromobody technology-based research reagents that can be used in multiple ways and are reliable; namely nanotraps and chromobodies. Nanotraps are already successfully and efficiently used to isolate and screen for cellular components in proteome research. The use of special mini antibodies, known as chromobodies, makes it possible for the first time to screen cellular target structures in living cells in real time. The aim with chromobody technology is to set new benchmarks in biomedical research and the development of pharmaceutical active ingredients (high-content screening). The first products in this segment are to reach the market as early as 2011.
Senior Investment Manager Dr Bernd Goergen puts the case for High-Tech Gründerfonds’ investment as follows: “With our investment we are funding not only highly innovative technology in the growth sector of high-content screening, but above all also an exceptionally dynamic start-up team that has proven to have profound market knowledge and commercialisation expertise.”
Chromobodies are a new kind of fluorescent nanoprobe that are extremely small, very stable and economical to produce. They are ideal tools for a large variety of analytical and preventive applications in biomedicine. In contrast to conventional antibodies, chromobodies are suited to real-time screening in living cells and are therefore ideal reagents for high-content analysis (HCA), which is a new technology in pre-clinical research that makes it possible to indentify and select relevant active ingredients at an early stage.
The detection and functional characterisation of cellular target structures is the focus of a large number of biomedical screening processes. The visualisation of dynamic processes in cellular systems for both basic research and the development of pharmaceutical active ingredients is assuming an increasingly important role here. The technological possibilities, involving for example high-throughput microscopy, for such analyses have developed at a rapid pace in the past few years. At the same time, a very high demand has emerged for efficient, economical and above all reliable screening reagents and processes.
“Having successfully established our first product line (nanotraps for cleaning biological probes) on the market, the successful development and validation of chromobody technology for developing pharmaceutical active ingredients is now exceptionally important to Chromotek’s sustained growth. We are delighted to have found, in High-Tech Gründerfonds und Bayern Kapital, partners who are prepared in this day and age to share the high risk that the development of biotech processes entails,” says Chromotek GmbH’s chief executive, Dr Ulrich Rothbauer.
About Chromotek GmbH
Chromotek GmbH develops and markets innovative reagents for biomedical research. Among others, these include screening reagents and procedures for cleaning and studying proteins for biomedical screening processes in research and the development of pharmaceutical active ingredients. Chromotek was established in October 2008 as a spin-off from Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University and is based in Martinsried, one of Germany’s leading biotech cluster areas.
About Bayern Kapital
Bayern Kapital was set up in 1995 as part of the Bavarian state government’s “Bavarian Future Initiative” aimed at furnishing especially new, innovative Bavarian companies with venture capital. To date, Bayern Kapital has invested about EUR 152 million in more than 185 innovative, high-tech companies. Bayern Kapital is available as a contact for businesses in the region and currently manages an overall fund volume of about EUR 214 million.
About High-Tech Gründerfonds
The High-Tech Grunderfonds invests risk capital in young, high-potential technology companies that convert promising research results in business success. By means of the seed financing the start-ups shall carry on with the R & D project until the provision of a prototype or a “proof of concept” or until the lancing on the market. The High-Tech Grunderfonds has a funds volume of about 272 million EUR. Investors of the Public Private Partnership are the German Federal Ministry for Economy and Technology, the KfW Banking Group and the six industrial company groups BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Robert Bosch, Daimler, and Carl Zeiss.
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Bernd Georgen
Phone: +49 228 96568500
Fax: +49 228 96568550