Many cancer types, such as lung cancer, that used to be fatal can now be cured in many cases with the help of immune therapy, more specifically with immune checkpoint inhibitors. The success of these immune checkpoint inhibitors depends on the presence of immune cells in the tumor. D4 Diagnostics has developed D4BST to quantify the number of immune cells in the tumor prior to treatment. D4BST is a patented multiplex digital PCR assay for accurate, fast and reliable quantification of B-, Switched B- and T cells in traces of DNA from tumors or its surrounding environment. D4BST comes with an online analysis tool that automatically generates clinical reports. Based on these reports oncologists can differentiate patients that are likely to respond to the therapy from those that won’t.
Stratification reduces unnecessary treatment burden in non-responders and saves money but most importantly; it broadens the short treatment window that these patients have. Though clinical validation still has to be accomplished, technical and biological validation have been finalized and this will facilitate a timely registration. The first tranche of 350k€, of a 900k€ seed round, will be used for a retrospective validation study. The next 550k€ tranche will be used for initial company development. A series A investment of 1.9 M€ will intensify sales and marketing resulting in a positive cash flow in four years.
In the slipstream of getting D4BST to the market for lung cancer stratification, we will start validation of D4BST for melanoma stratification. However, the potential for D4BST is much wider and obvious markets for D4BST in immune diseases and infectious diseases are currently being explored. The D4 Diagnostics team currently consist of translational researchers, a mathematician/software developer and business developer from the Leiden University Medical Center and has an opening for an experienced CEO.