NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- MouSensor,
Inc., a biotechnology company that develops a novel and potentially
transformative platform to digitize the sense of smell, announced
today that it has raised $3.3M in its
seed round. The seed round was co-led by imec.xpand and Alexandria
Venture Investments with participation from New York Ventures and
Elma Hawkins, Ph.D.
MouSensor's core technology was developed at the Feinstein Lab
for Neurogenetics at Hunter College of The
City University of New York by the Company's co-founders,
Paul Feinstein, Ph.D., Associate
Professor and world expert in the molecular biology of olfaction,
and Charlotte D'Hulst, Ph.D., platform pioneer and CEO of
"It is our mission to unlock a brand-new field called
Odoromics and to establish the first-ever digital database
of scent," said Dr. D'Hulst. "Capturing the odor space will disrupt
a myriad of industries, from consumer goods to healthcare, and
create entirely new markets going forward."
"MouSensor has engineered the tools to solve a 30-year old
problem in the field of olfaction, the decoding of the most
enigmatic of all senses —the sense of smell, "said Prof.
Paul Feinstein, Chief Science
Officer of MouSensor, Inc. "By harnessing what evolution gave us,
we can translate the biology of the nose on to a chip to ultimately
identify a signature for every type of smell on the planet."
The MouSensor technology has opportunities in the Fragrance
& Flavor Industry by providing an objective means to measure
odors, and take the trial-and-error out of the $1.5B pipeline of new aroma chemical design and
development. In addition, the nose-on-chip technology
provides an opportunity to codify odors associated with certain
diseases. Here, the Company has been partnering with The Michael J.
Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research triggered by recent reports
of people with "super-smelling powers" who are able to detect a
specific scent on Parkinson's patients, even before cardinal
movement symptoms appear.
MouSensor has previously been funded by a Small Business
Innovation Research grant from the National Science Foundation.
These non-dilutive funding sources, together with a worldwide and
exclusive license to the MouSensor technology, secured from The
City University of New York, provided
the invaluable stamp of approval necessary to attract early-stage
investment that resulted in the closing of this seed round.
To drive continued development of its technology, MouSensor has
developed a collaboration with the internationally recognized
nano-electronics innovator, imec (Leuven, Belgium) to integrate the MouSensor Biology
with state-of-the-art silicon chip technology. This R&D
partnership was recently awarded with a $1.2M grant from Flanders Innovation &
Entrepreneurship (VLAIO). The Company has set up a subsidiary in
Belgium to facilitate the imec
collaboration and fuel its own chip R&D.
"Proud of our brand, we at imec are selective in the R&D
relationships we establish," said Luc Van
den hove, CEO of imec. "We are fascinated by MouSensor's
approach which aligns with our vision to bring the power of chip
technology to the domain of life sciences and to push the
boundaries of the impossible."
Imec.xpand, an independently managed fund that invests globally
in companies that leverage imec technology, has truly instigated
MouSensor's fundraising efforts with early-stage funding followed
by co-leading the seed round with Alexandria Venture
"At imec.xpand, we are looking to invest in companies with an
exceptional team and a unique technology that will have a global
impact," said Tom Vanhoutte, Partner
at imec.xpand. "We are impressed by the depth of knowledge, the
commitment and the enthusiasm of Charlotte, Paul and the team and we are
looking forward to join them on their exciting journey."
MouSensor is a member company of Alexandria LaunchLabs®, a
full-service startup platform, through which the Company was able
to access the Alexandria Seed Capital Platform, an innovative
funding model led by Alexandria Venture Investments.
"Alexandria LaunchLabs fosters the city's next generation of
best-in-class life science companies and we are thrilled to have
MouSensor and its technology, developed right here in Manhattan, join our vibrant ecosystem at the
Alexandria Center® for Life Science – NYC,"
said Blake Stevens, Ph.D., head of Alexandria LaunchLabs –
MouSensor is supported by an outstanding Scientific Advisory
Board composed of world leading experts in the molecular biology of
the sense of smell, which include Dr. Charles Greer, Professor of Neuroscience and
Neurosurgery at Yale University, Dr.
Randall Reed, Professor of Molecular
Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins
University, and Dr. Jeffrey
Martens, Thomas H. Maren Professor and Chair at the
University of Florida. Prof. Em.
Eugene Johnson, former Chief
Scientific Advisor at the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's
Research, will advise the Company on the application of the
MouSensor technology in the Parkinson's field. Steve Hicks, Former R&D Director at Procter
& Gamble, has been appointed as Chairman of the Board of
About MouSensor, The Odoromics Company
MouSensor, Inc. is an early-stage biotech start-up headquartered in
New York City and founded in 2016
as a spinout from The City University of New
York (CUNY), based on technology developed at the Feinstein
Lab for Neurogenetics at Hunter
College. The Company is engineering a living nose-on-a-chip
with the bold vision to detect, discover and digitize every single
smell on this planet; from the fragrances in a perfumer's palette
to the unique odors associated with diseases, such as Parkinson's.
It is their mission to establish the first-ever digital database of
scent. For more information, please visit www.mousensor.com.
Imec.xpand is an early stage and growth fund with a game-changing
approach to turn hardware driven nanotechnology innovation into
successful global companies. The fund is independently managed by a
team of entrepreneurs, seasoned venture capitalists and business
experts and is targeting ambitious tech start-ups were imec
knowledge, expertise and infrastructure can play a determining role
in the success. For more information about imec.xpand, please visit
About Alexandria Ventures Investments
Alexandria Venture Investments, founded in 1996, is the strategic
venture capital arm of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
Alexandria Venture Investments focuses on novel, breakthrough
discoveries in biopharma, diagnostics, research tools, agtech and
technology. Based on its experience and in-depth understanding of
the life science and technology industries, its long-term
relationships with leading investors and its world-class scientific
advisory network, Alexandria Venture Investments is uniquely
positioned to fund seed-, early- and growth-stage companies. For
more information, please visit www.are.com.
About New York Ventures
New York Ventures is the venture capital investment arm of Empire
State Development, New York
State's chief economic development agency. New York Ventures
meets the critical capital needs of the state's innovation economy
by providing funding to high-growth startups as they move from
concept to commercialization, through early growth and expansion.
More information is available here.
About Alexandria LaunchLabs®
LaunchLabs is the premier, full-service startup platform designed
to dramatically accelerate the growth of early-stage life science
startups. With its flagship site at the Alexandria
Center® for Life Science – New York City and its Cambridge site at the Alexandria
Center® at One Kendall
Square, Alexandria LaunchLabs provides move-in ready
office/laboratory space, first-class support resources, shared
equipment and services, creative amenities and access to startup
capital through the Alexandria Seed Capital Platform —all of which
are critical for driving the growth of seed- and early-stage
companies across the country. The Alexandria LaunchLabs team is
currently accepting applications for future members in New York City and Cambridge. For more information or to apply,
please visit www.alexandrialaunchlabs.com.
Imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in
nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The combination of our
widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound
software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging
our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of
partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking
innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities
and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, energy and
education. As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and
universities we bring together more than 4,000 brilliant minds from
over 85 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven,
Belgium and has distributed
R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA,
China, and offices in India and Japan. In 2017, imec's revenue (P&L)
totaled 546 million euro. Further
information on imec can be found at www.imec-int.com.
About the National Science Foundation's Small Business
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards nearly $190 million annually to startups and small
businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research
(SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program,
transforming scientific discovery into products and services with
commercial and societal impact. The non-dilutive grants support
research and development (R&D) across almost all areas of
science and technology helping companies de-risk technology for
commercial success. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a
budget of about $7 billion that
supports fundamental research and education across all fields of
science and engineering.
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
As the world's largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson's research,
The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure
for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living
with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through
an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled
with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients,
business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and
volunteers. In addition to funding more than $800 million in research to date, the Foundation
has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure.
Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson's research, the
Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry
leaders, academic scientists and government research funders;
increases the flow of participants into Parkinson's disease
clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes
Parkinson's awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and
outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands
of Team Fox members around the world. For more information, visit
About Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO)
The agency Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship is the
contact point for entrepreneurs in Flanders. We encourage and support innovation
and entrepreneurship, and contribute to a favorable business
climate. We do this in close collaboration with local actors and
supported by our international commitments in EUREKA, E.E.N. and
H2020. We focus on: Stimulating growth and innovation; Promoting
entrepreneurship; Supporting clusters; Improving environmental
factors. By being a one-stop-shop, we build a bridge towards
stronger entrepreneurship. For more information, please send an
email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The City University of New York
The City University of New York is the
nation's leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University
comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community
colleges, and additional professional schools. The University
serves nearly 275,000 degree-credit students and 218,083 adults,
continuing and professional education students.
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SOURCE MouSensor, Inc.