Illumina Leads $18M Investment Round in French PCR Firm

November 21, 2018
Illumina Leads $18M Investment Round in French PCR Firm
Source: John Lund/Getty Images

French digital PCR company Still Technologies recently announced it closed an €16 million ($18.1 million) Series A financing round led by Illumina Ventures, joined by Kurma Partners, LBO France, BNP Paribas Développement, Paris Saclay Seeds, and Idinvest Partners.

Stilla was founded 8 years ago as a spinout of the École Polytechnique Université Paris-Saclay and unveiled it Naica digital PCR (dPCR) platform for commercial sale in 2016. The company’s technology leverages microfluidic handling, which integrates dPRC on a single consumable.

“With our Naica System, researchers worldwide are building a new generation of high-precision genetic tests for a wide variety of applications such as liquid biopsy tests for cancer diagnostics, pre-natal testing or GMO detection” said Rémi Dangla, CEO and co-founder of Stilla Technologies in a press release announcing the investment round. “This additional financing will enable Stilla to accelerate the sales of the Naica System, launch our 2nd generation solution and begin clinically validating panels to be run on the system, with an initial focus in the field of oncology.”

Illumina Ventures, managed independently from sequencing giant Illumina, was founded by Nicholas Naclerio, Ph.D., a former SVP of corporate and venture development for Illumina. The firm was launched in 2016 with an initial $100 million investment from Illumina, and in October, 2017 added $230 million from a variety of sources for its first fund.

Companies in its portfolio include Genome Medical, which dubs itself as a nationwide genomics medical practice; blockchain-enabled community-owned gneomic data company Luna DNA; and synthetic DNA manufacturing company Twist Biossciences, among others.

“We are very excited to be working with Stilla and such a deep syndicate of European investors,” noted Naclerio. “The Stilla team has done an amazing job developing and launching the Naica system in Europe and Asia with a very limited amount of seed financing. With these additional resources, we believe that Stilla Technologies can become a global leader in digital PCR and the lowest cost platform for liquid biopsies.”