Illumina’s $18 Million Funding For Digital PCR Firm Stilla Technologies
Stilla Technologies announced today that it has completed a €16 million ($18.3 million) Series A financing round led by Illumina Ventures. LBO France, kurma Partners, BNP Paribas Développement, Paris Saclay Seeds, and Idinvest Partners participated in the round. Still stated it will use the funds to commercialize its Naica digital PCR system and to develop clinical applications.
In particular, the company will aim to accelerate sales of Naica, launching a second-generation solution, and begin the process of clinically validating panels to be run on the system, with an initial focus in oncology, Stilla Cofounder and CEO Rémi Dangla said in a statement. The Naica system integrates amplification and formation in one instrument and has three-color readout capabilities to enable multiplexing. Dangle also mentioned that the Naica process is enabling researchers worldwide to build”a new generation of high-precision genetic tests for a wide variety of programs, such as liquid biopsy tests for cancer diagnostics, prenatal testing, or GMO detection.
“As part of the funding, Philippe Chambon from LBO France, Philippe Peltier from Kurma Partners, and Nick Naclerio from Illumina Ventures will join Stilla’s board of directors. “The Stilla team has done an amazing job launching and developing the Naice system in Europe and Asia with a very limited quantity of seed financing,” Naclerio said in a statement. “With these additional resources, we think that Stilla Technologies can become a global leader in electronic PCR and the lowest-cost platform for liquid biopsies.”
Illumina Ventures is an independently-managed venture company in a strategic partnership with Illumina. It most recently invested in Luna DNA, a company providing custom cryptocurrency to benefit individuals for sharing their medical and biological information. The digital PCR space now appears poised to become more aggressive in the future with the recent announcement that Roche is developing a six-channel electronic PCR system.