The starting point was a molecular test jointly developed and patented at Helmholtz Zentrum München and Technical University of Munich to distinguish between psoriasis and eczema, two skin diseases that are sometimes difficult to distinguish when relying on conventional methods. To perform the molecular test at the point-of-care, the developers were looking for an appropriate diagnostic platform and found it at Hahn-Schickard. “LabDisk technology makes it possible to measure more than 40 markers simultaneously within 60 to 90 min, even in tissues such as the skin,” describes CTO and co-founder Dr. Katharina Dormanns, who previously headed the LabDisk platform working group at Hahn-Schickard in Freiburg. The innovative nature of the system and also its application for diagnostics in dermatology not only convinced the investors in this seed round, but it was also recognized by numerous juries. Competitive public funding of almost 3 million euros in the pre-founding phase enabled the system to be developed into a functional prototype. Numerous prizes in business competitions and inclusion in exclusive networks such as WECONOMY and CDL Oxford have enormously expanded the reach of the spin-off, which has been registered in the commercial register since 2021, within just a few months.
“Modern molecular diagnostics is the prerequisite for implementing precision medicine in dermatology. It not only supports conventional diagnostics, but also makes it possible to predict individual therapy response and disease progression,” says CEO, dermatologist and co-founder Dr. Natalie Garzorz-Stark. She adds: “Unfortunately, the manual performance of the complex DNA- and RNA-based assays is time-consuming, error-prone and requires expertise, which is why widespread use has not been possible so far.”
The seven-figure amount will now be used to bring the PCR-based on-site testing system to market with the first “PsorEx” test. Dr. Helmut Laaff, dermatopathologist from Freiburg and investor in the seed round, is already very excited to be able to integrate the system himself in his own laboratories and to contribute to the development of the portfolio’s content.