The start-up BforCure, specialized in the rapid biodetection of pathogens, announced this Tuesday, October 12, a fundraising of 2 million euros. The roundtable was held with ID Solutions, a company located near Montpellier that is developing tools for the diagnosis of digital PCR in oncology.
A diagnosis in less than 15 minutes
Created in 2018, BforCure is at the origin of Chronos, a mobile and connected automaton capable of detecting pathogens and biomarkers very quickly. “You can make diagnoses in less than 15 minutes,” explains Maël Le Berre of L’Usine Digitale. Chronos obtained the CE IVD (in vitro diagnostic) marking last April, which allowed it to place its product on the European market.
Chronos uses “Fastgene” technology, invented by Elvesys, BforCure’s older sister. It allows to miniaturize the molecular biology process “PCR” (polymerase chain reaction) on a chip that is then inserted into the Chronos automaton. This process allows an RNA sequence to be duplicated in large quantities from a small quantity.
Collect data for maintenance
Chronos is a connected laboratory thanks to sensors inside the machine. This allows BforCure to check “the quality of the tests to detect if the machines are being used incorrectly or if there is a malfunction”, explains Maël Le Berre. When the fleet of machines is sufficient, the information collected can also be used for epidemiological surveillance, he continues.
The first use case of Chronos was the screening for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19, with the financial support of the Ministry of the Armed Forces. A prototype of Chronos was tested in collaboration with the Saint-Louis de Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux hospital in Paris (AP-HP). Currently, there are around ten Chronos machines in service, especially at Marseille airport.
Diversify your offer in the field of cancer
Thanks to this new investment, BforCure wants to expand its use cases in the medical biology markets by collaborating with ID Solutions. Both companies want to target cancer patients.
Having the advantage of being portable, the BforCure technology could be installed “in surgical units to verify the margins of excision of cancer (excised area around a tumor, editor’s note), in real time, in order to leave healthy margins for any trace of cancer during the operation “, explains Frédéric Fina, scientific director of ID Solutions. As close as possible to the patients, it can also be used to determine in real time the effectiveness of a cancer treatment to be able to adapt it if necessary .
BforCure currently has 55 employees. To be successful in your commercial deployment, you want to expand your management team and fill certain positions in marketing and R&D. The goal is to reach a turnover of 6 million euros in 2022.
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