Omics startup Pleno prospers with $40M funding round

Omics startup Pleno prospers with $40M funding round

Collecting $15 million less than six months ago, the San Diego startup Pleno raised another $40 million to further its efforts to get its multi-omics platform off the ground and grow its team.

Deerfield Management led the new, series A round and was joined by Foresite Capital, Pleno said in a release. The money it collected this past May was described as pre-series A funding, and Medical Excellence Capital and Alexandria Venture Investments led the financing.

Pleno’s founder and CEO Pieter van Rooyen previously co-founded Edico Genome—developer of the Dragen IT platform for DNA analysis that Illumina acquired for $100 million in 2018 and that has been employed to help parse the massive volumes of genomic data produced by the company’s machines.

Now, setting up shop just down the road from the sequencing giant’s headquarters, Pleno aims to provide a system that can simultaneously analyze DNA and RNA, as well as the genetic material’s larger methylation structures and the protein content of a patient sample.

It hopes to overtake the processing power and efficiency of PCR tests and next-generation sequencing with multiplexing technology that Pleno has dubbed Hypercoding, based on signal processing techniques used by the telecom industry.

The company’s Raptor instrument—which Pleno says will be able to process up to 384 samples for every one- to three-hour run—is slated for early customer access in 2023 and larger rollout in 2024.

The system is geared toward a range of applications, “ranging from early cancer screening, [non-invasive prenatal testing] and infectious diseases, to pharmacogenomics, proteomics and agrigenomics,” van Rooyen said in the release. van Rooyen previously helped establish point-of-care blood testing company Truvian Sciences, which raised over $100 million last year for its many-in-one blood testing machine.

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