Financing accelerates the development of cell therapy and drug discovery platforms based on its proprietary image-based cell sorting system
TOKYO, JAPAN. May 29, 2020
ThinkCyte, Inc., a company focusing on the development of novel cell therapy and drug screening platforms, today announced the completion of a US$15.3 million (JPY 1.65 billion) Series A financing, led by SPARX Group with participation from SBI Group, Itochu Technology Ventures, Inc. (ITV), and Fuyo General Lease. Existing investors Real Tech Fund and Osaka University Venture Capital also participated. This brings the total amount raised so far to US$18.5 million (JPY 2 billion.)
“We are deeply grateful for the excitement and support our investors have expressed for our vision, technology, and team,” said Waichiro Katsuda, ThinkCyte’s co-founder and CEO. “This investment from new and existing investors is proof that ThinkCyte has made significant strides in transforming the future of cell therapy, drug discovery, and clinical diagnostics through the development of our proprietary image-based cell sorting system, Ghost Cytometry™. We look forward to building the innovative platform company together.”
ThinkCyte’s novel Ghost Cytometry system uses a combination of proprietary advanced imaging, microfluidics, and machine-learning techniques to realize high-throughput single cell sorting based on the image information. It is of use in a variety of research, therapeutic, and diagnostic applications, such as identifying and extracting cells with higher therapeutic values without any labels for cell productions in cell therapy. It is able to distinguish different cell states and cell types based on image information without using fluorescence labeling. This is particularly useful in cell manufacturing for cell therapy because the labeling could affect the final cell products.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to expedite solutions for cell therapy and drug discovery, as well as to increase the global presence of ThinkCyte’s technology and expand collaborative research projects with biopharmaceutical companies.
“We are confident that ThinkCyte’s unique and innovative technology will solve imminent issues in life science research and medicine,” commented Masatoshi Fukami, Executive Vice President of SPARX Group. “We will fully support ThinkCyte and the team to transform cell therapy and drug discovery to deliver better therapeutics and diagnostics for patients.” From SPARX Group, Shigeki Sakuraba, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, has joined ThinkCyte’s board of directors and brings his unique mixture of experiences in clinical, academic, and financial environments.
“Ghost Cytometry has the potential to drastically change single cell analysis and advance cell-based treatments and diagnostics,” said Tsuyoshi Ogawa, Partner at Itochu Technology Ventures (ITV.) “We believe that ThinkCyte’s team delivers on its commitments and will help millions of patients around the world by providing innovative platforms.”
About ThinkCyte, Inc.
ThinkCyte is a biotechnology company focusing on the development of novel cell therapy, drug discovery, and clinical diagnostic platforms with integrated multidisciplinary technologies. Its proprietary technology, Ghost Cytometry, combines advanced optics, machine learning and biotechnology to improve lives. In June 2019, the company was selected for J-Startup by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan. For more information, please visit our website.