LS CancerDiag’s 5.4 million euro share issue was fully subscribed in just five days by 600 Finnish private investors. The company’s innovation can save millions of human lives by improving the diagnosis of Lynch syndrome, the world’s most common hereditary cancer syndrome.
The Finnish growth company LS CancerDiag has developed a new technology for diagnosing Lynch syndrome. With the novel DiagMMR® technology, this hereditary cancer syndrome can be diagnosed much more effectively than before, which leads to preventing cancer, reducing healthcare costs, and saving lives.
The innovation is the result of more than ten years of academic research. The leading inventor of the DiagMMR technology is Minna Nyström, professor of genetics and epigenetics at the University of Helsinki, who is also the founder and chairman of the board of LS CancerDiag Oy.
LS CancerDiag aims for commercial success with its novel technology, especially in the US market. To support growth, the company organized a share issue of 5.4 million euros through the growth financing company Springvest. The share issue was fully subscribed ahead of schedule, just five days after the start of the round.
– I was confident that the investors would be interested in the share issue. Still, the rapid pace of investments right from the first day was a surprise, especially in such a challenging market situation. So, on behalf of the entire company, I want to thank the investors for their trust, says Niklas Lahti, CEO of LS CancerDiag.
LS CancerDiag board member Tuomas Tenkanen recommended Springvest based on his previous good experiences.
– Springvest’s team was very knowledgeable, and the financing round arrangements had a clear division of work. We created professional materials that clearly explained the company’s achievements and prospects to the investors, summarizes Lahti the course of the round.
A total of more than 600 private investors invested in the company. According to Lahti, a broad owner base brings a lot of opportunities to the company.
– We are happy to utilize the owner network in the company’s development, such as product commercialization, recruitment, and scaling the US market. A broad ownership base and network can promote the company’s growth in many ways, so the know-how and support of each new owner are warmly welcome.
The innovation helps to identify hereditary susceptibility to cancer
The world’s most common cancer syndrome, Lynch syndrome, predisposes in particular to colon, endometrial, and ovarian cancers. The risk of developing cancer caused by the syndrome is up to 80%, and often a person develops more than one cancer during their lifetime. However, by diagnosing the disease at an early stage, people can be directed to preventive measures. Effective prevention can lead to avoiding cancer development or timely cancer detection, improving the prognosis considerably.
The company aims to make DiagMMR® a new diagnostic standard that helps eliminate inaccurate and possibly incorrect test interpretations of the syndrome, anxiety caused by unexplained doubts, and unnecessary healthcare costs.
– Identification and diagnosis of Lynch syndrome are ineffective with current methods. The diagnosis process is complicated, and the result remains unclear too often. Therefore, there is a need on the market for an accurate and effective diagnostic method that can be used to detect Lynch syndrome and direct people to preventive monitoring, says Lahti.
For example, in the US, it is estimated that approximately 1,200,000 people have Lynch syndrome, of which 90-95% are undiagnosed.
– The diagnosis of Lynch syndrome always affects the whole family. The susceptibility is dominantly inherited with a probability of 50%, and because of this, testing the family members is very important. It is often a relief for people to find out why there are so many cancer cases in their families – especially when most cancer types could be predicted with a high probability. At the same time, it is also essential to exclude the disease from the family members without Lynch syndrome, Lahti explains.
After the diagnosis, a preventive cancer treatment plan is created for the family members with the syndrome to ensure an early cancer diagnosis and improved treatment prognosis.
Success in the US market requires strong branding
Niklas Lahti started as CFO at LS CancerDiag six years ago, and last fall, he was appointed CEO of the company. With a strong finance background, Lahti focuses on supporting a team with substantial intellectual capital and executing the commercial strategy.
The main goal of the commercialization strategy is to launch DiagMMR® in the US market as an LDT (Laboratory Developed Test), which is enabled by the company’s own research and development, and ownership of the technology. This way, the technology is effectively introduced to the world’s largest healthcare market while meeting strict regulatory requirements.
– Due to the LDT business model, FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) approval is not required. The business model requires that we establish a laboratory in the United States, for which we obtain a certificate for diagnostic use. The certificate gives us the right to sell the technology directly to clinicians, but we perform the testing ourselves in our laboratory.
Success in the international market also requires well-planned brand building.
– We already possess all the keys to success thanks to a strong product, solid research background, and an excellent team at the doctoral level. However, Finnish companies are often too product-driven and do not invest enough in branding. We want to act differently and plan to build a powerful brand that drives success in the US market and corresponds to our company’s values and high-quality standards, Lahti sums up.