January 17th, 2019

// Cryopreservation company, Acorn Biolabs closes $3.3M seed funding and ramps towards consumer launch

Cryopreservation company, Acorn Biolabs closes $3.3M seed funding and ramps towards consumer launch

The world's first non-invasive home-cell collection service will allow consumers to easily collect live cells for future therapeutic uses.

TORONTO, Jan. 16, 2019 /CNW/ - Acorn Biolabs, a biotechnology company focused on delivering an easy, affordable, non-invasive and trusted cell preservation service, today announced it has closed $3.3 million in seed funding from Real Ventures, Globalive Technology, Pool Global Partners and Epic Capital Management and other unnamed partners.  Acorn's at-home collection kit will allow consumers to safely and effortlessly collect their own cells by plucking their hair follicles in the comfort of their homes and have them reliably transported for safe preservation and future use.

As people age, their cells deteriorate and experience irreversible damage. As a result, there is a dramatic decline in success rates of using older cells for medical therapies. "In our later years, when we need our cells for regenerative therapies, our cells are the least viable," said Dr. Drew Taylor, Co-Founder and CEO at Acorn Biolabs.  "Rapid advancements in the therapeutic use of cells, including the ability to grow human tissue sections, cartilage, artificial skin and stem cells, are already being delivered.  Entire heart, liver and kidneys are really just around the corner.  The urgency around collecting, preserving and banking youthful cells for future use is real and freezing the clock on your cells will ensure you can leverage them later when you need them." 

"Consumers have already begun to widely embrace the idea that you can collect your cells and use them to understand your ancestry and obtain basic health reports," said JS Cournoyer, Co-Founder and Partner, Real Ventures and Co-Founder, Element AI.  "With advancements in cell therapies that leverage live cells, consumer understanding of the much larger value that their cells could have will also increase.  And, as medical use of cells advances at a breakthrough pace beyond simple ancestry and health reporting, Acorn's service will become inextricably tied to how people think about their future personal healthcare." 

Saliva-based mail-in kits leverage less than 1% of the full genome of any human cell – making their use limited to only a small subset of what could really revolutionize healthcare.  Acorn's live cell collection solution delivers the opportunity for full 100% genome banking, giving consumers potential access to many more medical insights and therapies that leverage their own cells.

"Until now, any live cell collection solutions have been highly expensive, invasive and often painful, as well as being geographically limited to specialized clinics," said Anthony Lacavera, Founder and Chairman at Globalive.  "Acorn is an industry-leading example of how technology can bring real innovation to enable future healthcare solutions that will have meaningful impact on people's wellbeing and longevity, while at the same time - make it easy, affordable and frictionless for everyone."

With this new round of funding, Acorn adds key resources to its team to ramp towards market availability.  Jacquie Chapman, an experienced industry veteran joins Acorn as Chief Operating Officer bringing a wealth of experience across business transformation, globalization as well as business strategy from top tier management consulting, marketing and health companies including The Boston Consulting Group, LoyaltyOne and Precision Nutrition; and Sonya Verheyden joins Acorn as Chief Marketing Officer bringing an extensive background across consumer and enterprise technology, telecommunications and mobile through global marketing roles including Rogers Communications, BlackBerry, and Motorola.

The company is currently planning for commercial availability of the consumer home collection and cryopreservation service in Q2 2019.   Sign-up for updates at www.acorn.me.

About Acorn Biolabs, Inc.
Founded in 2017 by Steven ten Holder, Patrick Pumputis and Dr. Drew Taylor and born out of years of research, Acorn is a biotechnology company based at JLABS in the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, Canada - the heart of innovation in medical and bio technology.   Acorn is bringing to market the world's first home-based, affordable and non-invasive consumer live cell collection kit and cryopreservation service. Acorn helps you collect and preserve your cells today, so you can leverage them in the future when you need them.  Acorn enables consumers to save their cells so they can leverage the promise that cell therapies will deliver in the future to dramatically improve their healthspan.  Visit acorn.me

About Real Ventures
Real is Canada's most active early stage VC and a driving force behind emerging tech ecosystems. Established in 2007, they have invested in over 200 companies across five funds, with $330M under management. The firm invests throughout the life-cycle of early-stage companies and provides stage-appropriate capital and support for the founders it backs. Real believes that VCs should play a role in accelerating the creation of world-class tech ecosystems by providing support beyond the companies for whom it writes cheques. It's this collaborative mindset that inspires Real to launch initiatives that lay, or build upon, the foundations of rapidly growing tech hubs in Canada, and wherever else the firm may go. realventures.com

About Globalive Technology 
Globalive Technology is a next generation software company and venture partner that is developing and investing in innovative solutions to disrupt traditional industries using primarily AI, IoT and blockchain technology. The company forms partnerships with leading high growth companies to co-develop artificial intelligence and blockchain technology stacks. It is controlled by Globalive Capital Inc. which has founded and co-founded 12 businesses over the past 20 years with 6 successful exits ranging from $10M to $1.3B USD. It has also made over 100 venture investments and has over 45 technology companies in its portfolio. For more information, visit www.globalivetech.com.

About Pool Global Partners
Pool Global Partners is a new emerging manager connecting global growth capital with early stage deep technology. An outcome-focused fund, Pool leverages a broad network of Silicon Valley and Toronto based operators with proven track records in seed-to-scale commercialisation to power the next generation of high growth start-ups.

About Epic Capital Management
Epic Capital is one of the most prolific venture capital investors in the Canadian health technology space. Over the last four years, we have invested in 27 companies from coast to coast and helped catalyze over $200 million of investment. Specifically, the firm focuses on companies ready to scale in areas including but not limited to digital health, healthcare IT, artificial intelligence, medical devices, diagnostics and novel healthcare-related service providers. We believe strongly that, when properly resourced, Canadian entrepreneurs can compete and win in health technology on the world stage.



SOURCE Acorn Biolabs


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