Diagnostics, Startups

Glympse Bio raises more than $46M in Series B round for biosensor technology

The company is developing biosensors, initially for NASH, that could be used in place of liver biopsy and have applicability in development of drugs for the disease.

graphic design of a liver

A company developing sensors that could take the place of painful biopsies in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and other diseases has raised a funding round that it plans to use to move forward in clinical development.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Glympse Bio said Wednesday that it had raised a Series B financing round worth $46.7 million, which it will put toward a premarket approval-enabling study of its biosensor technology in NASH patients.

Section 32 led the round, while Temasek, DNS Capital, New Leaf Venture Partners, Waterman Ventures and Catalio Capital Management also signed on as new investors. Existing investors taking part in the round include LS Polaris Innovation Fund, ARCH Venture Partners, CRV, GreatPoint Ventures, Gilead Sciences and others.

“The NASH need is really twofold: There is a diagnostic need, the ability to diagnose NASH, and also a prognostic need, to determine whether there is a response to treatment,” Glympse CEO Caroline Loew said in a phone interview. The aim, she said, is to provide a way to means to accomplish diagnosis and prognosis of NASH that is safe, noninvasive and accurate. “Biosensors really avoid the difficulties seen with needle biopsy.”

After being injected into the blood stream, the sensors are designed to naturally track to the liver, where they are localized to diseased tissue and measure proteases that are dysregulated by disease before being excreted through the urine, whereupon they can be analyzed in a lab. The company has completed Phase I clinical trials of the sensors and plans to present results at an upcoming medical meeting, Loew noted.

Beyond NASH, the company is also developing the sensors for use in other fibrotic diseases, cancers, including lung cancer, and infectious diseases, according to its pipeline page. A particular area of application is in drug discovery and development, Loew said, such as determining early on if a drug is hitting its target. “The same diagnostic can then carry directly into early translational research to determine whether there is target engagement with patients, whether we see responses with patients, and then we can start to look for early efficacy signals in small clinical studies,” she said.

Photo: eranicle, Getty Images