Groningen University spin-out Protyon secures pre-seed investment

Press release May 11, 2023

GRONINGEN, Netherlands – LUMO Labs, through its pre-seed investment vehicle LUMO Fund II TTT AI and NOM, the regional development agency for the northern Netherlands, are co-investing EUR 600,000 in Protyon. Protyon is a Dutch healthtech spin-out of Groningen University and UMCG that develops predictive software based on computational molecular modeling and artificial intelligence (AI) to support patient-specific decision-making in the treatment of lung cancer.

Protyon will use this latest investment to build out the technology and develop a SaaS model.

“We aim to empower the clinical decision-making process by providing an automated molecular modeling tool to assess the treatment efficacy on an individual level,” said Rositsa Jordanova, founding partner and CEO of Protyon. “Our digital solution is guiding clinicians to choose the best available therapy and enhance the quality of life of lung cancer patients,” Jordanova said.

Computational molecular modeling mimics the behavior of molecules in a computer and is already used in advanced medical approaches such as drug design for individualized treatment.

“Structural biology has been an immensely powerful tool in the generation of new drugs, but surprisingly this same information has not been used in a clinical setting,” said Matthew Groves, Protyon’s chief science officer. “However, the use of knowledge on how mutations impact drug targets on the molecular level has a huge potential impact on treatment choices.”

In contrast to existing applications focusing on chemical exploration, Protyon’s application of molecular modeling to guided cancer therapy is novel. “The unprecedented predictive power of our solution puts Protyon ahead of its competitors,” Groves said.

“This technology has already proven to be very effective and complementary to other tools available to clinicians, and it will only get better over time,” said Andy Lürling, LUMO Labs Founding Partner. “As its hardware requirements are relatively low, this technology can reach and help large numbers of patients around the world.”

Unfortunately, everybody knows somebody with cancer,” said Annemieke Wouterse, Investment Manager at NOM. “The 3D model and algorithm of Protyon helps clinicians make the optimal decision for further medication in case of tumor mutation, enhancing patient quality of life of patients and reducing healthcare costs. This startup fits nicely in the strategy of NOM to invest in early-stage Life Sciences & Health propositions.”

Protyon was developed by a diverse team of founders at the University of Groningen and the University Medical Centre Groningen. “As investors, we are very happy to see such a complete and diverse leadership team take on the further development and actual deployment of this valuable technology,” said Sven Bakkes, founding partner at LUMO Labs. “We are very much looking forward to being part of their journey.”

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