Swiss startup Alithea Genomics raises about €972k to scale up innovative RNA-seq technology

Committed to developing solutions that simplify and streamline the foundations of medical research, Alithea Genomics has just raised about €972k in fresh funding. The capital injection was led by the Novalis Biotech Acceleration fund, with the participation of Swiss-based private investors. 

It has been said that today’s research is tomorrow’s medicine. Across the whole spectrum of healthcare and medical development, tech is now at the forefront in driving new progress and solutions. Alithea Genomics is a fast-growing biotech startup in the field of RNA sequencing and transcriptomics analysis and is contributing to the medical development of the future. 

Based in Lausanne, Alithea has developed a proprietary technology called Bulk RNA Barcoding and sequencing (BRB-seq), which enables the preparation of hundreds of RNA samples for sequencing in a single tube. 

RNA sequencing examines the quantity and sequences of RNA in a biological sample using next-generation sequencing (NGS). This data specifies which of the genes encoded in DNA are turned on or off, and to what extent, e.g., in a diseased cell or in response to a drug. The traditional preparation of samples for RNA sequencing is expensive and time-consuming due to the large amounts of reagents and manual operations that are typically required. 

Founded in 2020, Alithea is making the process more streamlined and efficient with its innovative tech approach. Alithea’s BRB-seq technology drastically decreases the cost and time associated with library preparation for RNA sequencing. This means that it has the potential to become an essential tool in already existing biomedical research sectors but also in new RNA-dependent application fields.

Jan Van den Berghe, co-founder and managing director of Novalis Biotech, who has also been appointed to the board of directors, explained: “There is a significant need to run a large number of RNA sequencing experiments in an affordable and rapid manner that, up until now, has held back the applications of RNA sequencing.”

He continued: “Alithea’s BRB-seq based products have the potential to be adopted on a massive scale and expand into new and substantial industrial sectors, such as drug screening and biobank functionalization. This capital boost and associated expertise of the new board members, combined with the progress already made by the founders, positions Alithea for great success in the near future.” 

The proceeds of the financing will be used to expand the commercialization and scale-up of its new products, MERCURIUS™ BRB-seq and MERCURIUS™ Blood BRB-seq, a revolutionary approach to enable effective RNA sequencing from blood samples.

Riccardo Dainese, CEO and co-founder of Alithea Genomics, added: “Following the successful initial launch of BRB-seq and associated kits, we are now ready to expand and scale-up commercialization. This seed financing will enable us to initiate and deliver on these ambitious plans. We are grateful to Novalis and our private investors, not only for their investment but also for the shared vision of a successful future for Alithea.”