Toronto molecular diagnostics company Qvella has raised a $20 million (U.S.) Series A round of financing, led by RA Capital Management and Whitecap Venture Partners, with Hatteras Venture Partners and Sands Capital Ventures participating as syndicate partners.
“This latest round of funding provides us with the capital to support our ongoing research and development, and build out our team. It also gives us access to strong investment partners who will provide strategic guidance and back our future growth,” said Qvella CEO and co-founder Tino Alavie. “Our history with the Whitecap team, who led our first institutional financing, together with RA Capital Management’s experience and expertise in the healthcare and life sciences market, will prove incredibly beneficial as we pursue the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Founded in 2009 by a group of scientists and engineers, Qvella aims to reduce time to results in bacteriology using its Field Activated Sample Treatment (FAST) technology, which enables the rapid detection of infectious agents in a blood sample.
The solution helps to solve the problem of over-prescription of antibiotics, which has had an overall bad effect on the population for several decades now.
Typically, a physician needs to wait 24 to 72 hours while a sample is analyzed in a lab before knowing whether a patient is actually infected.
“Solutions that enable patients to receive the right treatment quickly will fulfill a key unmet need in microbiology,” says Qvella board member and executive in residence at RA Capital Management Parker Cassidy. “Qvella has the perfect combination of technology, team, and potential to impact how antibiotics are delivered and developed.”
For some patients, a delayed diagnosis can be deadly, especially if their condition is sepsis, a blood infection that is the second-leading in-hospital cause of death among critical patients, affecting a quarter of patients in intensive care units.
In concert with most medical centres’ Antibiotic Stewardship programs, Qvella’s technology can speed up one part of the process, enabling timely clinical decisions, thereby reducing hospital stays and reducing overall treatment costs.
“Qvella is on an accelerated path to significantly change how bacteriology is handled in the healthcare system,” says Blaine Hobson, of Whitecap Venture Partners. “This latest round of funding will play an important role in enabling Qvella to achieve its vision, and at the same time strengthens our investment in the MedTech market.”
Qvella will use the financing for ongoing product development and expand its team.