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Spanish Startup Mecwins Raises $4.7M to Develop Early Disease Detection Prototypes

NEW YORK ─ Madrid-based startup Mecwins on Thursday announced that it has raised €4 million ($4.7 million) in funding from current and new investors to support the development of diagnostic testing prototypes for the early detection of disease based on its ultra-sensitive AVAC protein detection platform.

Mecwins said that under the strategic funding agreement — inked with CRB Bio II, Masela Inversiones, and Progenika-Grifols — it will strengthen its research team and develop new clinical trials to evaluate its AVAC technology, making it possible to create new routes for the clinical diagnosis and treatment of several diseases in their initial stages.

"With the resources we now have, we will be able to fast-track the growth and commercial development of the company," Óscar Ahumada, Mecwins' general manager, said in a statement.

Mecwins is a spinout of the Spanish National Research Council's CSIC Micro and Nanotechnology Institute, based in Tres Cantos. The platform detects biomarkers such as cytokines, inflammation markers, and cancer markers at very low blood levels for the early diagnosis of a range of diseases, the firm said.

According to the company's website, its digital technology counts single protein molecules to achieve ultra-high sensitivity, high throughput, multiplexing, and a broad dynamic range. Its AVAC technology combines plasmonic technology and immune testing for the detection of multiple proteins and RNA and DNA biomarkers at levels of 1 femtogram per ml or less.

Mecwins said it recently entered an agreement to partner with Madrid-based Ramón y Cajal Institute for Health Research, or IRYCIS, to develop new hematology and autoimmune disease markers. In June, it entered into a licensing and co-development agreement with Quidel to create a next-generation point-of-care testing instrument.