Slovak scientists join forces with private investors to bring personalized treatment to breast cancer patients
Slovak biotech company MultiplexDX, a leader in biotechnology, has renewed its partnership with investment platform Crowdberry, and together they have launched a new investment campaign with a record target of €7.5 million. The campaign aims to raise private capital to support breakthrough diagnostics enabling personalized breast cancer treatment.
The unique Multiplex8+ diagnostic test enables accurate and rapid diagnosis of breast cancer by identifying genetic and molecular changes in the cell, thus increasing treatment success and improving patient prognosis. Investor money will enable the diagnostic test to be provided directly to practices as well as providing frequent reimbursement for innovative treatments.
The test not only refines the diagnosis itself towards determining the specific subtype of cancer, but more importantly, it provides information that allows oncologists to prioritise and tailor treatment to the patient. As a result, this increases the success rate of treatment and, most crucially, reduces the chance of recurrence.
"Inaccurate diagnosis and the resulting inadequate treatment of breast cancer patients results in only a 50% treatment success rate and a higher chance of cancer recurrence. The MultiplexDX team of experts is using its discoveries in diagnostics to help doctors set up personalised cancer treatments and consequently save patients’ lives. With the help of private capital from investors on the Crowdberry platform, we will be able to accelerate our development and bring a breakthrough diagnostic test to the market," revealed Pavol Čekan, CEO and founder of MultiplexDX.
First successes are already a reality
The first successes with detailed diagnostics are now behind MultiplexDX. Approximately one month – that is the period from the initial diagnosis with MultiplexDX to the successful results with clear efficacy in the first patient. "According to the information from the treating oncologist, after only two cycles the treatment was so effective that metastases disappeared," explains Čekan.
MultiplexDX's ambition is to reduce the number of inaccurate cancer diagnoses to zero, minimise invasive procedures, and thereby also reduce the costs associated with ineffective treatments, which is ultimately reflected in the economics itself. Patients can then return to work sooner and regain their original quality of life. As Čekan told Forbes magazine, although the main goal in oncology, and therefore for the breast cancer patient, is for her to survive, there is more to go on.
There is a certain percentage, about 25% of patients, for whom the most precise diagnostics is a priority. It is important to find out as much as possible about the tumour and thus customise the treatment, so that our patient had not only a chance to survive, but also to stay long with her family, to be part of the employment process and to be an added value for the society.
MultiplexDX's breakthrough diagnostics has been hailed by several experts, including the East Slovak Cancer Institute: 'We can confirm that the successful diagnostics performed by MultiplexDX played a decisive role in the patient's path to her overall recovery and healing. We are very pleased that the patient has started the indicated treatment and remain hopeful for continued positive treatment progression."
Private investors are helping to change the world of cancer diagnostics
MultiplexDX and Crowdberry have once again joined forces to move breast cancer diagnostics out of the lab and into the real world. The investment opportunity targets €5 million of private capital from Crowdberry investors in partnership with other institutional investors (€2.5 million). It aims to further develop diagnostic technologies to provide doctors and patients with more accurate, faster and more effective tools to detect this serious disease.
Biotech companies are among the more costly industries. They often have to spend huge amounts of money in clinical validations for healthcare, treatment and diagnoses of patients. "Unless the government is going to help you in that clinical validation and you really want to keep sprinting to the finish line and get the diagnostics to patients, you have to find other, private investment to cover those costs," Čekan explained to Forbes.
MultiplexDX thus has to consider how to allocate the money: whether it is not more appropriate to diagnose perhaps a hundred patients, but also to reimburse them for innovative treatment, than to make only a thousand diagnoses. This is probably the route the company will take. And although they have received some buyout offers, they are not currently in a position to divest the company. One possible future scenario, for example, is to build a large central laboratory for the wider Central European region within Bratislava.
This also represents a great opportunity for investors who want more from their investments, not just the appreciation in value. Investing in these types of companies has a societal dimension beyond the commercial capital appreciation and has an impact on building Slovakia's reputation in the field of innovation and science.
"MultiplexDX's first investment plan, which Pavol Čekan presented more than five years ago, has come to fruition and brought Crowdberry investors results in the form of value appreciation, despite the difficult years of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukrain," explains Michal Nespor, Crowdberry Partner and MultiplexDX Board Member.
"I am confident that investors in this investment round will also see a multiple appreciation of their investment capital in a few years' time, along with the social impact of increasing the success rate of breast cancer treatment and reducing the mortality rate of patients with this insidious disease," adds Michal Nespor, who is responsible for the original and current investment in the company.
The support of Slovak scientists through private investment via the Crowdberry platform alone, together with the campaign for MultiplexDX, already amounts to almost €10 million. Private investors through the platform have supported for example Glycanostics, a company dedicated to prostate cancer diagnostics, the startup DNA ERA, and the current opportunity to invest in Poliklinika Váš Lekár, with its own network of diagnostic pharmacies in Slovakia.
Crowdberry also has other companies in the broader healthcare sector in its portfolio of managed investment funds, which Crowdberry will gradually bring to investors as investment opportunities.
Are you interested in the MultiplexDX diagnostic test? For a full interview with the founder, Pavol Čekan, please visit www.forbes.sk