Miroculus raises $2.3M for low-cost blood test that detects multiple types of cancer

  Diagnostics startup Miroculus became a bit of a media darling last fall, in part from its TED Talk on bringing inexpensive, rapid-fire cancer diagnostics to the developing world. The Bay Area startup just raised the first, $2.3 million tranche of a $3.6 million seed round, raised from a mixture of angel and venture investors, CEO Alejandro […]

 

Diagnostics startup Miroculus became a bit of a media darling last fall, in part from its TED Talk on bringing inexpensive, rapid-fire cancer diagnostics to the developing world.

The Bay Area startup just raised the first, $2.3 million tranche of a $3.6 million seed round, raised from a mixture of angel and venture investors, CEO Alejandro Tocigl said. Miroculus is giving itself another 90 days to court the remaining $1.3 million.

Over the next 18 months, the company will be laser-focused on clinical validation, Tocigl said. The test turnaround time is 60 minutes, Tocigl said, and needs only a milliliter of blood to run. It can be processed with a smartphone or a computer, which processes the data and computes what sort of tumor profile is associated with the panel.

The company’s platform is based on MicroRNA profiling – with aims of detecting these genetic fragments in the blood or tissue, without the need of a technician or a full suite of costly lab equipment. Each testing panel has “biochemistry that acts like a trap that closes only when the microRNA is present in the sample,” the company says. If a trap closes – meaning the MicroRNA indicative of a tumor or condition is present – the well will shine green.

“There are lots of opportunities for MicroRNA profiling and diagnostics, but we are the only ones doing a very affordable and easy to use way,” Tocigl said.

Embedded in this idea is an open-sourced diagnostics platform, called Miriam, that will ask the community to help grow the database of cancer MicroRNA biomarkers – fleshing out the startup’s diagnostic offerings, at low cost to the end user.

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