DNTOX receives €1.4 million seed funding for non-animal testing of chemicals

The new capital will be used to set up the test laboratories in Düsseldorf, aim for GLP accreditation and launch the test battery on the market

20-Jun-2023 - Germany

Team of DNTOX

The Life Science startup DNTOX receives seed funding of €1.4 million. The round is led by HTGF, with private investors Barbara Korte-Sturm and Nikolaus Sturm as well as Bool Capital and AQAL Capital also participating. The Düsseldorf-based company has developed a test system based on human cells that maps important processes in human brain development and thus enables the testing of chemicals without the need for animal experiments.

It is a legal requirement that substances that are harmful to the adult brain must also be tested for their effect on the developing brain. Testing evaluates the so-called developmental neurotoxicity (DNT). To date, these tests have been carried out primarily in a large number of animal experiments on rodents and are not only ethically questionable but also extremely time-consuming and costly. In addition, the results can only be transferred to humans to a limited extent due to species differences.

DNTOX’s system, consisting of a battery of individual tests combined with proprietary readout and evaluation algorithms, provides a suitable solution that enables cheaper, faster and ethically safe testing for customers in the chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

With the capital raised, the young company is building up the cell culture laboratories in Düsseldorf and is aiming for GLP accreditation in the near future. Thus positioned, the test system can be introduced to the market and rolled out.

"It is high time to establish meaningful and economically viable methods to replace animal testing. In our view, the DNTOX test battery is one such method and we are very confident that chemicals will no longer be tested in animals for their potential neurotoxicity in the future. In addition, we are excited by the enthusiasm and will of the entire DNTOX team to bring this method to market", Dr. Caroline Fichtner, Principal at HTGF.

"Experienced and highly respected scientists using their skills to solve a powerful problem through a product and even a company is rare. We are excited about the diverse DNTOX team and its impact on global health. We look forward to helping it succeed", Tom Schulz, co-founder and managing director of Aqal Capital GmbH.

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