GEN: Please tell us about last month’s major financing.
Sean: It was a $135 million round led by Perceptive Advisors with participation from other new investors including Ally Bridge Group, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, as well as other existing investors. The goal is to help us accelerate just the few threads that we’re working on.
We’ve expanded commercially quite a bit in advancing single-cell proteomic biology. We have a 100+ systems in the field. First, we’ve brought on a large commercial team that we’re building to shift not only the IsoLight but also the IsoSpark to the next level for the many labs that want to access these technologies.
Second, we are following our product roadmap, and we already released the next layer of single-cell proteomic biology in December, which is looking at the phosphoproteome per single cell. We typically had worked with only secreted proteins per single cell. We are also releasing other metabolomic type assays.
And third, we want to fully integrate biology at the single-cell level to advance curative medicine programs.
GEN: What do you think it is about IsoPlexis that was able to draw this amount of investor interest so early in the year?
Sean: I believe the age of single-cell biology is upon us. It is recognized that the best way to unravel the heterogeneity of some of our most important cell types, such as immune cells, tumor cells, and CNS cells, is by getting to single-cell resolution, which allows you to understand how to develop biomarkers and treat disease. If you think about it, diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and immune-mediated disorders that cause inflammation, can be better solved when you can achieve a better layer of single-cell resolution. This allows you to know what to treat and how to modulate the immune system. It’s the understanding of single-cell biology and proteomics that is key to the advancement of medicine over the next decade.
We know that the DNA and RNA are not really capturing the dynamic nature of in vivo biology that the proteome does because RNA does not translate to that end proteomic state. As a result, there’s been more investment in understanding the proteome with a new layer of resolution provided by a few different companies.
What we do is combine single-cell biology and the proteome. We’ve come up with about 55 predictive data sets just in the last few years that have shown that if you take these two things together, that is, single-cell biology and proteomics, you’re able to find small subsets of cells, such as in cancer immunology, that allows you to predict which patients will be long-term responders or non-responders to drugs like checkpoint inhibitors. You’re unable to make such predictions with baseline genomics or flow cytometry.
We came out with a paper in Cell where we were able to describe sources of severity in COVID patients that couldn’t be accessed by any other type of analytical modality.
In our cell and gene therapy partnerships, data has come out on our system that illustrates that small subsets of single cells could be evaluated on our platform to predict responses to cell and gene therapy in vivo.
So, if you look at what is enabled through new medical modalities by our single-cell biology, the opportunity is quite large. In addition, although investor interest comes with the understanding that new biology is important, it’s also the realization that these new advanced medicines target large end markets.
We’ve done some market analyses to show that our first applications allow us access to about a $12 billion market for advancing these more combinatorial and curative immune-type medicines through pre-clinical research to the clinic.
As we release more applications to look at new layers of single-cell biology, there are even more of these large end markets for use of the enabling tools to which we have access.
Meet our personal proteomics instrument: isoplexis.com/isospark.