Estonian healthtech start-up Antegenes raises EUR 2.3M

EIT Health-supported start-up, Antegenes, has raised EUR 2.3 million in funding to bring its innovative genetic tests for personalised cancer prevention into broader use in healthcare, scale the team and expand to new foreign markets. Funding was received from investors, Enterprise Estonia and EIT Health.

Antegenes’ novel genetic tests assess a patient’s cancer risks and include clinical recommendations for further personalised cancer prevention. Trials are based on innovative polygenic risk score technology, which helps to clarify an individual’s genetic predispositions to cancer. Therefore, it allows for more accurate prevention and early detection measures, which is crucial in fighting cancer. The tests are currently used to determine the genetic risk of four types of cancer: breast, prostate, colon cancer, and skin melanoma. 

Antegenes team has been working for several years to help people identify and prevent some of the most difficult chronic conditions all of us are potentially subject to during our lifetime. Of course, one must overcome enormous challenges to realise such a vision, and we want to support the team as it tackles them. It takes many years to build a great business – and similarly, create a lasting health change – and we believe the current milestone boosts the Antegenes team to take some exciting steps towards their future. 

Timo Rein, co-founder of Pipedrive 

Antegenes raised EUR 1.6 million from investors in a seed round led by Pipedrive co-founder Timo Rein, Pipedrive’s first investor Peep Vain and entrepreneurs Aare Kurist and Andreas Henn Otsmaa. In addition, other Estonian investors and entrepreneurs participated in the round. The financing round was advised by investment banking company Keystone Advisers and law firm Sorainen. 

The investments make it possible to bring personalised cancer prevention into wider use in healthcare, including in new markets. In addition to Estonia and the United Kingdom, we have started operations in Sweden, Norway, Portugal, and Spain. In the coming months, we will also enter the German market. To reduce cancer deaths, the genetic predisposition of cancer should be analysed for all people, and our vision is to implement this internationally with our partners. The current investment round is significant for our growth and next steps. We are glad that investors share our vision of the future of healthcare. 

Dr Peeter Padrik, founder and CEO of Antegenes 

In addition, Antegenes has received two grants to bring research-intensive innovation to international healthcare. The first is the BRIGHT project, financed with EUR 2.28 million by EIT Health, of which EUR 500 000 is a grant to Antegenes. At the centre of the project is Antegenes and the breast cancer genetic risk test AnteBC. The project aims to implement the AnteBC test in breast cancer precision prevention in Estonia, Portugal and Sweden, with further developments in Europe more broadly. By enabling precision prevention with targeted screening, BRIGHT promises to improve patient outcomes and significantly reduce breast cancer mortality. The project partners are the University of Tartu, IESE Business School, Tartu University Hospital, Estonian Health Insurance Fund, Uppsala University Hospital, North Lisbon University Hospital Centre, and GE Healthcare.

The second grant is through the Norway Grants Green ICT programme, which supports business cooperation between Estonia and Norway. The goal of the 200 000-euro funding is to implement the breast cancer genetic risk test AnteBC as part of a breast cancer screening routine in Norway. The project partners are the University of Oslo, Oslo University Hospital, Vestre Viken Hospital Trust, and Oslo Cancer Cluster. All partners have a strong scientific and clinical background and are acknowledged institutions in the field of oncology both in Norway and internationally.

BRIGHT is just one of the many products and services being developed with support from EIT Health. 

Learn more about EIT Health's product and service development