High-Tech Gründerfonds and Technologiegründerfonds Sachsen invest in biotech company pluriSelect GmbH

(PresseBox) (Bonn / Leipzig, ) Biotech start up pluriSelect GmbH has closed a financing round totalling 600.000 Euro with the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and the Technologie Gründerfonds Sachsen (TGFS). With pluriBead®, the Leipzig based biotech company introduces a unique and innovative technology platform for the rapid and gentle separation of bio molecules and cells. For the first time scientists can simultaneously isolate different types of cells and proteins in a simple one-step protocol (simultaneous multi-target isolation).

PluriSelect develops a particularly user-friendly separation technology for a wide variety of cell or protein based research sectors such as cancer, rheumatism, arteriosclerosis or allergies to just mention a few. The basic principle of the separation technology is based on the physical separation of different sized beads employing a proprietary separation technology. As a result the user obtains a purified target population isolated from a heterogeneous mixture. The newly introduced product, pluriBead® allows for the fast separation of various targets (cells, bacteria, proteins, viruses, etc.) from whole blood, cord blood, cell culture and other heterogeneous solutions in a reliable and gentle fashion.

'In practice, the new technology is simple and flexible to use. Now, researchers have the opportunity to isolate targets fast and reliably without the use of expensive lab equipment', explains Dr. Jan-Michael Heinrich, founder and CEO of pluriSelect. 'We are currently developing a diagnostic system to monitor the immune status of HIV patients in the developing countries, supporting their antiviral therapy treatment,' Dr. Heinrich adds, 'As our system does not require any infrastructure, it can be used practically anywhere and at very low costs'.

The technology platform is best explained by an artificial enlargement of the target cells or molecules that are subsequently separated with a cascade sieving device. 'No sample preparation is necessary, no centrifugation, nor any removal or lysis of erythrocytes. In addition to that, our separation method offers another advantage: now, scientists can isolate several targets from a single sample in one isolation experiment! This is a new feature and adds value for our customers' summarises Dr. Christian Schmitz, responsible for marketing and sales. Sales will commence in the beginning of 2009.

'With the support of the TGFS the pluriSelect GmbH will further strengthen the innovation cluster in Saxony and particularly the life science sector in the area of Leipzig,' says Daniel Huebner, authorized officer of S-Beteiligungen Leipzig. 'The TGFS financing partnership for young and technology focused companies supports the biotechnology development strategy of the Free State of Saxony,' explains Thomas Tettenborn, investment director at the venture capital firm CFH, specifying the TGFS' financing commitment.

'It's hard to find young biotech enterprises, which are so customer-focussed and at the same time so close to market' explains Dr. Bernd Goergen, Senior Investment Manager of the High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH, the commitment of the fund. 'pluriSelect's proprietary cell separation technology is simpler, faster and more flexible than conventional methods and may therefore be positioned sustainably not only in the research tool market, but also within diagnostic applications'.

'As a trained molecular biologist, spending a fair amount of time on target separation, I would have liked to use pluriBead from pluriSelect during my times as a researcher in the lab. Now, I am happy that this innovative technology and a strong management team has partnered up with the HTGF and the TGFS to drive forward the successful internationalisation of this biotech company', emphasizes the technology- and VC-Expert Dr. Merle Fuchs of TechnologieContor Gera, Thuringia.

About TGFS, Leipzig, Germany:

The Technologiegründerfonds Sachsen (TGFS) invests in young companies from the technology area. As a venture capital fund the TGFS becomes minority shareholder of the companies and supports these with experience of its management and with advisory capacity. The TGFS is fed from means of the free state Saxony, supported by means of European Regional Development Fund (EFRE), the savings banks of Chemnitz, Leipzig and Dresden and LBBW.

About Corporate Financing Holding, Leipzig, Germany:

CFH Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH, a subsidiary of Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg (LBBW), supports medium-size enterprises with equity and mezzanine capital. CFH is managing several funds with a total volume of approx. EUR 250 million and is currently accompanying 33 enterprises.

S-Beteiligungen, Leipzig, Germany:

S-Beteiligungen, a subsidiary of Sparkasse Leipzig, supports medium-sized enterprises and start-up companies with equity and mezzanine capital. Typical are financing for growth or for first step into market. S-Beteiligungen is premium partner for TGFS investments in economical area Leipzig.

About TechnologieContor, Gera, Germany:

Since 2000 TechnologieContor Gera supports technology oriented start ups and innovative entrepreneurs in successful business development and financing.

High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH

Der High-Tech Gründerfonds investiert Risikokapital in junge, chancenreiche Technologie-Unternehmen, die viel versprechende Forschungsergebnisse unternehmerisch umsetzen. Mit Hilfe der Seedfinanzierung von bis zu 500.000 EUR sollen die Start-Ups das F&E-Vorhaben bis zur Bereitstellung eines Prototypen bzw. eines "Proof of Concept" oder zur Markteinführung führen. Der High-Tech Gründerfonds verfügt über ein Fondsvolumen von rund 272 Mio. EUR. Investoren der Public Private Partnership sind das Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie, die KfW Bankengruppe sowie die sechs Industriekonzerne BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Robert Bosch, Daimler und Carl Zeiss.

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