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Fresh capital for further development of label-free analytic devices

Biametrics GmbH, a spin-off from the University of Tübingen, is to obtain investment capital totalling EUR 600,000, which High-Tech Gründerfonds and Seedfonds Baden-Württemberg will jointly provide. The Company, established in 2007, develops analytic devices for the pharmaceuticals and life science sector. They operate label-free and at very low detection limits. They are also fast, robust and economical. The funding will enable this young business to engage in cooperation with international partners, to forge ahead with the development of its devices and to realise new ideas.

Biametrics GmbH develops label-free, mobile analytic devices that are fast, robust and economical; they also operate at very low detection limits. That is important for generating valuable data on the kinetics of bio-molecules, which is significant not least in the development of new pharmacological active ingredients.  In contrast to the labelled processes, which disrupt the natural activity of the bio-molecules, label-free analysis does not exert any such influence.

The development of these innovative devices is based on the patented reflectometric interference spectroscopy (RIfS). LED lamps help in reading the results. Dr Florian Pröll, who founded Biametrics together with Dr Günther Proll three years ago, explains the principle: “With materials that differ in their optical properties the light is partly reflected and partly let through at the boundaries of layers. Because the reflected rays interfere, i.e. they superimpose, the reflected sample changes.” The measuring sensor reacts to this interference. Translucent materials such as glass or plastic, whose surface is coated, serve as the carrier materials for the optical biosensors. “The patent-protected surface chemistry involves many years of development work, but now the method is so sophisticated that we can rightly say:  it is unique,” says Dr Florian Pröll. Dr Michael Nettersheim, Senior Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds, shares this opinion: “The speed, robustness and accuracy are the factors that differentiate Biametrics’ systems from those of other providers. Given that they are also economical, nothing more prevents f a breakthrough. The capital is well invested here.”

One of the most important areas of application for Biametrics currently involves human and animal diagnostics. Due to the compact construction and the speed of these analytic devices – the result is available in less than five minutes – they can also be used for non-clinical applications; for example at airports where the objective is to check passengers for virus particles as quickly as possible.

There are already parties interested in this highly innovative technology: The contract with a large American manufacturer in the in-vitro diagnostics segment is virtually in the bag. Dr Günther Proll: “We are constantly on the lookout for cooperations and, in essence, are marketing a system solution. We also sell licences to our technology and assist in device development work. Furthermore, we work closely with manufacturers in order to specify their products for the requirements of the Biametrics technology.” Yet the Company is also forging ahead with own development work. “We still have so many ideas and opportunities, which is why we are vey glad that High-Tech Gründerfonds and Seed-Fonds are supporting us. The fresh finance will help us to expose the so far undiscovered treasures that lie in this technology,” Proll continues.

Roman Loch of LBBW Venture Capital GmbH, which manages Seedfonds BW alongside MBG Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg GmbH, is convinced by the approach that the two entrepreneurs are taking: “In Biametrics GmbH I see a promising young enterprise that has struck the right cord with its market-relevant analysis products.” Dr Klaus Eichenberg, managing director of BioRegio STERN Management GmbH, agrees: “The venture capital will help Biametrics in embarking on the search for new customers and partners. As they can boast a strong product, the doors of the diagnostics manufacturers will be opened to them.”

About Biametrics GmbH
Biametrics GmbH is a spin-off from the University of Tübingen. Established in 2007 by Dr Günther Proll and Dr Florian Pröll, this innovative business produces label-free analysis devices for use in clinical diagnostics. Based on the patented technology of reflectometric interference spectroscopy (RIfS), these devices detect interaction between bio-molecules. These small, handy analysis devices are fast, robust and economical, and they are also suitable for mobile use – all the while involving very low detection limits.

About BioRegio STERN
In the Baden-Württemberg region covering Stuttgart, Tübingen, Esslingen, Reutlingen and Neckar-Alb, BioRegio STERN Management GmbH is a joint skills network, contact and consultancy address for entrepreneurs and researchers in the field of biotechnology. BioRegio STERN promotes collaboration between widely differing disciplines such as medicine, biochemical engineering, sensor systems, nutrition science, biochemical analysis and bioinformatics. Regeneration biology and medical technology constitute key focal areas.

BioRegio STERN represents the interests of the start-ups, entrepreneurs and researchers vis-à-vis government, the media and associations, pools business development and marketing, advises on applications for subsidies and business finance, and supports this work with committed media and public relations work. BioRegio STERN is supported by the regions of Stuttgart and Neckar-Alb as well as the cities of Stuttgart, Tübingen, Esslingen and Reutlingen. Its managing director is the molecular and cellular biology as well as investment analyst Dr Klaus Eichenberg.

About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds invests risk capital in young, high-potential technology companies that convert promising research results in business success. The seed finance provided aims to enable start-ups to take their R&D project through to the creation of a prototype, a proof of concept or to market launch. The Fund as general rule invests EUR 500,000; in total, up to two million euros are available per investment. Investors in this public/private partnership are the German Federal Ministry for Business and Technology, the KfW Banking Group as well as the six industrial groups of BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Robert Bosch, Daimler and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gründerfonds has a fund volume of about 272 million euros.

Contact:
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Michael Nettersheim
Senior-Investmentmanager
Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 2
53175 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 96568508
Fax: +49 228 96568550
m.nettersheim@high-tech-gruenderfonds.de
www.high-tech-gruenderfonds.de

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