NEW YORK ─ Ahrensburg, Germany-based Abviris, the developer of a lateral flow test for cancer detection, said on Tuesday that it has raised almost €2 million ($2.4 million) in financing to expand its business.
Current investor High-Tech Gründerfonds, a venture capital investment firm based in Bonn, Germany, was the "the most significant" investor in the financing, a company representative said in an email, declining to name the other investors in the financing.
The financing follows promising results in a study published last June in EBioMedicine for its blood-based lateral flow immunoassay, which is used in the early diagnosis of head, neck, and anogenital cancers caused by the human papillomavirus, Abviris said.
The company has developed a lateral flow blood test that provides results in 20 minutes, and according to the firm, it has the potential to enable better decisions about screening, monitoring of therapy response, and early detection of recurrence in a number of cancers stemming from HPV.
The test uses a biomarker for HPV16, which is responsible for more than 90 percent of all HPV-related head and neck tumors and more than half of cervical cancer cases, according to Abviris. A patient immune response captured by the test occurs when HPV infection has triggered tumor growth.
The firm has integrated the HPV16 assay into Prevo-Check, a point-of-care system for which it has obtained CE marking.
Roman Niedbal, the company’s recently appointed CEO, said in a statement that Prevo-Check is already being distributed in some European countries, and Abviris is seeking global strategic partners to "open up the potential" of its technology.
The firm said that its clinical study suggests that the biomarker will differentiate between non-cancerous HPV infection and HPV-induced cancer, which it will seek to validate in future clinical studies. The first such study is expected to launch this summer.
A separate European multicenter study seeks to confirm the test’s ability to indicate whether HPV is the cause of a tumor that has been detected.
Abviris added that it is also developing point-of-care immunoassays to address clinical needs associated with other high-risk HPV types.