NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Israeli precision medicine startup NewStem announced today that it has secured $2 million in seed funding, with a commitment for an additional $2 million.
NewStem — a spinout of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem — said it will use the funding to advance the development of its core platform, which involves screening human haploid embryonic stem cells to create a database of genes involved in chemotherapy resistance. According to the company, combining this database with a genetic profile of an individual patient's tumor can help guide treatment selection.
The seed funding is being provided by Hollywood Media, a publicly traded advertising services firm that intends to shift its focus onto NewStem's technology, as well as change its name to NovelStem International. Hollywood Media said that it will provide an initial $2 million to NewStem in exchange for a 20 percent stake in the firm. It has agreed to provide two additional installments of $1 million each — at 12 months and 18 months following its initial investment — which would boost its ownership of NewStem to 33 percent.
Jan Loeb, president of Leap Tide Capital Management, has joined NewStem's board. He has also been named chairman of Hollywood Media.
"We are pleased to have secured a commitment for $4 million and a solid long-term partner through this investment," NewStem CEO Ayelet Dilion-Mashiah said in a statement. "We now have the capital, expertise, and strategic counsel to further advance NewStem's products and solutions for chemotherapy targeting."