LinusBio secures Series A for diagnostic platform that uses a single strand of hair
LinusBio, a Mount Sinai spinoff starting out focused on neurological disorders like autism, announced Thursday it raised $16 million in Series A funding.
Proceeds will go toward building its platform that uses exposome biomarkers with the aim of improving and quickening the diagnosis of health conditions as well as measure responses to environmental exposure.
According to the New York-based company, the platform examines patients at the molecular level and can provide data from a single strand of hair equal to over 500 liquid biopsies or blood samples to catch health conditions that genomic biomarkers can’t and “maps the molecular dynamics of human physiology in a time-dependent manner.”
The platform is already involved in two sponsored trials.
In November 2022, the company announced a partnership with Novozymes to use LinusBio’s platform in a probiotic clinical trial in Mexico to analyze levels of lead and other harmful chemicals in participants — again using a single strand of hair. Lead exposure is still a widespread public health problem in Mexico.
LinusBio has an FDA breakthrough-designated diagnostic called StrandDx-ASD, which the company claims can predict the likelihood of autism at birth “with 80% to 90% accuracy.” It’s designed for infants through people 21 years old. The tech has already received the CE Mark designation in the European Union.
“We chose to focus on autism first for many considerations, an important one of them is the dramatically different trajectory in cases of an early detection and effective intervention. The impact on the patient and the patient’s family can be substantial,” LinusBio co-founder and CEO Manish Arora said in a statement.
There’s more in the pipeline, including biomarkers for ALS, oncology, inflammatory bowel disease and mental disorders.
GreatPoint Ventures and Bow Capital led the Series A, followed by Divergent Investments, Bia-Echo president Nicole Shanahan, the David Bellet Family Office, Gillian Sandler, and Francisco Partners co-founder Sanford Robertson.
LinusBio came out of a worldwide license and collaboration agreement with Mount Sinai Innovation Partners and the institute’s Icahn School of Medicine. Arora, the CEO, is also vice chairman of the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine.