Alithea Genomics Closes CHF 2.8 Million in Seed Financing Extension Led by Novalis Biotech

LAUSANNE, Switzerland–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Alithea Genomics, an emerging leader in the field of large-scale RNA sequencing and transcriptomics, announced today the closing of a CHF 2.8 million ($3.2 million) extension to its seed financing. The round was led by the Novalis Biotech Acceleration fund and included new investor TechU Ventures alongside existing investors. The proceeds will be used to continue commercialization and expand manufacturing capacity of its unique RNA sequencing products, advance the development of new technologies and establish a subsidiary in the United States.

“Since our initial seed investment, the Alithea team has delivered on all its milestones and exceeded our expectations in the progress being made,” said Jan Van den Berghe, co-founder and managing director of Novalis Biotech. “In two short years, we have seen the market for Alithea’s ultra-high throughput RNA sequencing products expand and grow into multiple areas. This injection of capital and opening of the US subsidiary will enable this progress to continue.”

Alithea commercializes massively multiplexed library preparation solutions for RNA sequencing, most notably BRB-seq and DRUG-seq. These technologies enable the preparation of hundreds of RNA samples for sequencing in a single tube and, in the case of DRUG-seq, without the need for RNA isolation. Traditional preparation of samples for RNA sequencing is expensive and time consuming, due to the large amounts of reagents and manual operations that are typically required. Alithea’s BRB-seq technology drastically decreases the cost and time associated with RNA sequencing preparation.

“With the growing expansion of life science research, we see huge potential for applications of Alithea’s RNA sequencing technologies and BRB-seq products on an industrial scale,” said Natanel Barookhian, Managing Partner of TechU Ventures. “This revolution in RNA sequencing means scientists will be able to conduct research in a more rapid and affordable manner, leading to expedited discovery of new therapeutic drugs in the field.”

Since the initial seed financing, Alithea Genomics has made significant progress in growing its product portfolio, especially with the addition of DRUG-seq, which is now used by several big pharma companies to improve drug development processes.

“With the additional proceeds from this seed extension, we will be able to continue to expand and grow,” said Riccardo Dainese, CEO and co-founder of Alithea Genomics. “As a company, we have made significant progress in a short period of time, but we are far from finished, so I’d like to thank Novalis Biotech and existing investors for the continued support, and welcome TechU Ventures, who bring to the table a different perspective, particularly as we expand into the US.”

In addition, Alithea has expanded its overall production and service capacity, which now allows for tens of thousands of RNA samples to be processed quickly and with high quality.

Finally, Alithea has moved to its new HQ in Lausanne, Switzerland, with dedicated cutting-edge labs and equipment.

About RNA Sequencing

RNA sequencing examines the quantity and sequences of RNA in a biological sample using next-generation sequencing (NGS). This data specifies which of the genes encoded in DNA are turned on or off, and to what extent, e.g., in a diseased cell or in response to a drug or different environmental conditions. This improved understanding of cellular biology can help guide decisions in multiple key steps of the drug discovery and development process.

About Novalis Biotech

Novalis Biotech (Ghent, Belgium) is an early-stage venture capital investor in technologies that revolutionize healthcare. The company’s core competence lies in digitalization in the life sciences with a focus on bioinformatics, genomics and diagnostics. Novalis strongly believes in applying innovative enabling technology to advance the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a disease.

About TechU Ventures

TechU Ventures invests in early-stage platform technologies that harness complex science and engineering breakthroughs for enduring global impact.

About Alithea Genomics

Alithea Genomics is committed to developing solutions that simplify and streamline the generation of “big RNA data”, which we believe will constitute the foundation of tomorrow’s research and medicine. Our BRB-seq technologies and kits enable researchers to discover novel biomarkers and essential data needed to develop new drugs at a fraction of the traditional cost and time. Alithea Genomics was founded in May 2020 at the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland.


Alithea Genomics
Riccardo Dainese

Halsin Partners
Mike Sinclair