Scope Biosciences, a Wageningen University & Research spin-off and a StartLife portfolio company, announced to have raised an investment of €1M. The funding is provided by GenDx, a global leader in molecular diagnostic laboratory solutions. The proceeds will be used to speed up the development of its proprietary ScopeDx CRISPR-diagnostic platform and expand its partnerships.
Niek Savelkoul, CEO of Scope Biosciences, commented: “Our proprietary ScopeDx CRISPR-diagnostic platform has shown its incredible potential in various applications in the last three years of its development. With this investment we can bring the first ScopeDx products to the market.
Building on groundbreaking science
Scope Biosciences builds on the research of John van der Oost, professor of Microbiology at Wageningen University & Research (WUR), who is internationally regarded as one of the founders of the pioneering CRISPR-Cas technique, and assistant professor dr. Raymond Staals.
CRISPR-Cas is considered to be one of the most revolutionizing discoveries in the biotech sector. It’s most valuable characteristic is its native ability to precisely detect and cut specific sequences of genetic material for use in genetic engineering.
Fundamental discoveries made by Van der Oost’s research group have revealed how the CRISPR-Cas system contributes to the bacterial anti-viral defense mechanism. He identified various enzymes and molecular signaling pathways that make this defense possible. These discoveries play a fundamental role in the extensive application of CRISPR-Cas today.
Revolutionizing diagnostics with CRISPR-Cas
Developments in recent years have also shown the merits of CRISPR-Cas technology in the use of molecular diagnostics. Scope Biosciences applies CRISPR-Cas’ inherent specificity and ease of use to actually develop such a molecular diagnostic platform. This will revolutionize the field of diagnostics as the simplicity of the assay promises to bring highly accurate molecular diagnostics outside the research laboratory like clinical bedside applications.
Scope Biosciences was founded in 2020 by Jurre Steens, Niek Savelkoul, Bart Scholten and Stijn Prinsen. The idea to set up Scope Biosciences originated in close collaboration with the Laboratory of Microbiology, at the department of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences at WUR. The ScopeDx technology was co-developed with WUR, which is exclusively licensed to Scope Biosciences.
The founders received support from seasoned entrepreneurs Math Kohnen and Wil Hazenberg and StartLife. Van der Oost and Staals both act as co-founders and will continue as Scientific advisors to support Scope Biosciences.
The investment capital is provided by GenDx, which specializes in Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) products for transplant diagnostics and in molecular diagnostics. The Dutch company focuses on the development, production and sales of assays and analysis software for transplantation and companion diagnostics. The collaboration with GenDx is mutually beneficial, as it will entail a co-development trajectory to develop ScopeDx applications for transplant diagnostics.
Scope Biosciences will benefit from GenDx’ experience to speed up developing and marketing the ScopeDx platform. Furthermore, Scope Biosciences plans to use the funding to grow its research and development team, and expand on the running partnerships in the development of rapid diagnostics for infectious diseases in healthcare, veterinary and agrifood applications.
Dr. Wietse Mulder, CEO of GenDx, commented: “We are excited to collaborate with such a motivated and energetic team of Scope Biosciences that is supported by WUR, renowned scientists and seasoned businessmen. We truly believe that together with them, both Scope Biosciences and GenDx will be able to deliver meaningful products to the field of diagnostics based on CRISPR-Cas technology.”