Antibiotic resistance is a growing global problem: the ability of pathogenic bacteria to resist antibiotics has increased in recent years, and their prevalence has accelerated. According to studies, antibiotic resistance directly caused over one million deaths worldwide in 2019, and nearly five million people died from bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotics.
With that in mind, Solu, a Finnish biotechnology startup focusing on combating antibiotic resistance by building the world’s most extensive pathogen DNA library, announced its €1 million Seed funding round, led by Finnish early-stage investor Lifeline Ventures and joined by Wave Ventures. With the recent seed funding, Solu will continue its product development and commercialization.
Solu’s product makes understanding, detecting, and preventing the spread of antibiotic resistance easier and enables real-time monitoring to detect dangerous mutations effectively.
“Antibiotic resistance is a significant threat to global health. Preventing antibiotic resistance requires better research and faster identification,” says Solu’s co-founder and CEO Sam Sihvonen.
Due to advanced DNA sequencing methods, data volumes have grown massively in antibiotic resistance research. However, analyzing vast amounts of data using existing methods is often slow and inaccurate. Solu enables more efficient bacterial data processing and real-time monitoring of changes in pathogens.
“We make the identification of antibiotic-resistant bacteria easy and fast. Typically, identification takes hours, but with our solution, it shortens to a few minutes. Real-time data can effectively detect superbugs and dangerous mutations, making it possible to stop their spread as quickly as possible,” says Sihvonen.
Founded in 2022, Solu has started collaborating with top international universities, including Stanford University and the University of Hamburg, which use Solu’s product in their research on antibiotic resistance.
According to its founders, beating antibiotic resistance requires world-class expertise and cross-industry collaboration. By working with universities, they also receive valuable feedback from international experts for product development. This helps them aim directly at global markets.
“Significant problems can be solved by bringing new technology bravely into existing industries. Solu combats antibiotic resistance with big data and user-friendliness. The team’s courage to tackle a global challenge, along with their ambition and significant partnerships, impressed us. We are excited to support Solu’s team early on in developing their groundbreaking solution,” says Timo Ahopelto, founding partner of Lifeline Ventures.
In the future, Solu aims to build the first pathogen DNA library that collects all pathogen data in real-time and can also model their evolution and identify new health-threatening pathogens more effectively.