Breakthrough approach to develop invisible Multi-Biomarker Sensor, measuring multiple metabolites for a period of up to 2 years in people with diabetes
Financing to drive first generation product to market approval in EU and US
"It is our ambition to give people with diabetes control over their own lives again. By using nanophotonics - a spectrometer in miniature form - our sensor will allow to measure glucose and other biomarkers or metabolites such as ketones accurately and continuously. Unlike the Continuous Glucose Monitoring systems (CGMs) on the market today, our sensor is invisible. The sensor will sit underneath and not on the skin. Diabetes therefore will no longer need to be visible."
Danaë Delbeke, CEO Indigo Diabetes
Indigo Diabetes was set up by Danaë Delbeke and her team in late 2016 as a spin-off from Ghent University and imec, an international research & development and innovation hub that operates in the areas of nanoelectronics and digital technologies. At the time, Indigo closed a Series A financing round worth 7.1 million euros led by Thuja Capital, Sensinnovat and PMV. While keeping a low profile, Delbeke’s international team engineered its promising sensor with the ambition to improve the lives of the countless people with diabetes. Doctors will be able to fit the sensor subcutaneously and - in tandem with their patients - to continuously measure and monitor two metabolites (glucose and ketones) in vivo, for a period of up to 2 years.
Fund+ invests along with Ackermans & van Haaren , Titan Baratto, imec.xpand, Capricorn Digital Growth Fund and QBICII
Indigo Diabetes has now successfully closed a Series B financing round in the amount of 38 million euros. The medical device company, which has since expanded its team to about twenty-five staff, is now able to prepare and start up the clinical study phase. Indigo Diabetes is collaborating amongst others with Professor Dr. Christophe De Block, Head of the Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolic Diseases Department at Antwerp University Hospital (UZA).
"For people with type 1 diabetes, but also people with type 2 diabetes who need insulin treatment, this application will give a much better insight into the correct insulin doses and treatment times required to keep sugar levels steady. If we could link this to an insulin pump in the longer term, this would create an autopilot, so to speak, whereby people with diabetes would no longer be required to intervene or adjust anything at all."
Professor dr. Christophe De Block
In a later development phase, clinical trials will be conducted on people with diabetes in both Europe and the United States before Indigo Diabetes’ sensor is submitted for European and US market approval by the end of 2023.
During the Series B financing round Indigo was able to attract five new investors: Fund+, Ackermans & van Haaren, Capricorn Digital Growth Fund, imec.xpand and Titan Baratto.
“We have been impressed by Indigo’s world class team and innovative approach. They have applied ground-breaking photonics technologies at miniature scale to develop an innovative product for people with diabetes around the world. This product has the potential to provide easier, continuous monitoring and provide a better quality of life to millions of people.” Jan Van den Bossche, Partner at Fund+
"We are delighted to be part of the further growth and development of Indigo Diabetes as a long-term investor. The company boasts an excellent management team that has grown from a unique ecosystem that combines UGent's photonics expertise with imec's nanoelectronics expertise. We are convinced that Indigo's sensor can make a substantial difference for people with diabetes and see a broader application potential for this mini-spectrometer in the long run.”
An Herremans, Investment Manager at Ackermans & van Haaren
The company received strong support from the investors of the Series A capital round, led by Thuja Capital Healthcare Fund II, PMV and Sensinnovat, with the participation of Powergraph, Qbic Arkiv Fund, Fidimec, Manuardeo and Capricorn Partners, as they all reinvested in the Series B capital round.
“Clinical evidence has proven that CGMs are effective tools for people with diabetes to improve glycemic control. We strongly believe Indigo's invisible sensor is the next stage. Not only will it allow better monitoring and treatment of diabetes, but the psychological impact of continuously painful finger-pricking or having to live daily with visible sensors will be a thing of the past thanks to this Indigo sensor.”
Dr Harrold van Barlingen of Thuja Capital
About Indigo Diabetes nv
Indigo Diabetes nv (Indigo) is a young high-tech medical device company founded by Danaë Delbeke and her team end 2016. Indigo develops the world’s first invisible sensor for people living with diabetes to address their need for accurate glucose monitoring with an improved user experience. Indigo exploits groundbreaking photonics technology that revolutionized the Internet during the last decades and now aims at transforming diabetes management. Indigo is based in Ghent, Belgium.
Fund+ is a Belgian venture capital firm that invests in innovative European Life Sciences companies developing drugs, medical devices and diagnostics, with a strong focus on patient-centric approaches and major unmet medical needs. With over € 200M in assets under management, Fund+ has built a strong track record since 2015, investing in 13 portfolio companies with two major exits. The fund is managed by a specialist team of seasoned life sciences professionals with healthcare industry, corporate finance and strategy consulting experience, supporting companies throughout their growth cycle. The company aims to maintain a leading position in the Life Sciences sector, creating sustainable value for its shareholders and delivering a tangible impact on society.
About Ackermans & van Haaren
Ackermans & van Haaren is a diversified group that operates in 4 core sectors: Marine Engineering & Contracting (DEME, one of the largest dredging companies in the world - CFE, a construction group with headquarters in Belgium), Private Banking (Delen Private Bank, one of the largest independent private asset managers in Belgium, and asset manager JM Finn in the UK - Bank J. Van Breda & C°, a niche bank for entrepreneurs and the liberal professions in Belgium), Real Estate & Senior Care (Leasinvest Real Estate, a listed real estate company - Extensa, a major land and real estate developer with a focus on Belgium and Luxembourg) and Energy & Resources (SIPEF, an agro-industrial group in the area of tropical agriculture).
At an economic level, in 2019 the AvH group effected a turnover of 5.6 billion euros, whilst employing 21,522 staff through its shareholdings. The group focuses on a limited number of strategic participations with a significant potential for growth. AvH is listed on Euronext Brussels and is included in the BEL20 index, the Private Equity NXT index and the European DJ Stoxx 600 index.
Imec.xpand is a growth and early stage fund with a game-changing approach to turning 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 targets ambitious tech start-ups that meet all the criteria to become a successful, scalable venture with the potential to change the world and where imec’s know-how, expertise and infrastructure can play a determining role in their success.
About Capricorn Partners
Capricorn Partners is an independent European manager of venture capital and equity funds, investing in innovative European companies with technology as competitive advantage. The investment team of Capricorn is composed of experienced investment managers with deep technology expertise and a broad industrial experience. Capricorn Partners is managing the venture capital funds Capricorn Digital Growth Fund, Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund, Capricorn ICT Arkiv, Capricorn Health‐tech Fund and Capricorn Cleantech Fund. In addition it is the management company of Quest for Growth, quoted on NYSE Euronext Brussels, and the investment manager of Quest Cleantech Fund and Quest+, sub‐funds of Quest Management SICAV, registered in Luxembourg.
Qbic is an early stage and seed venture capital firm that invests in spin-offs and young innovative companies that have a technology link with Qbic’s partner universities and research institutions. Qbic is managed by an independent team of seasoned investment and business professionals. The first Qbic fund - Qbic I - was incorporated in 2012 with a capital of € 40.7 million and has since invested in 18 companies. Qbic I currently focuses on follow-on investments and exits. The second Qbic fund - Qbic II - launched in December 2016, with an investment capital of € 58.9 million. With close to € 100 million assets under management, Qbic is one of the largest inter-university venture capital firms in Europe.
Thuja Capital Management (Thuja) manages several venture capital funds aimed at building and scaling companies in the fields of (bio)pharmaceuticals, medtech and digital health. Besides a financial return Thuja selects investments that will positively affect the health and well-being of patients, by providing capital to daring entrepreneurs with groundbreaking product concepts. Thuja’s investment team consists of seasoned investors and entrepreneurs with a proven track record. Consistently performing in the top quartile, the team has backed and helped to build several of today’s unicorns, as a first investor in Galapagos, Argenx and Nightbalance.
PMV is an investment company that is shaping the economic future of Flanders by financing promising companies from the very start on the path of growth and internationalization. With over 1 billion euros in assets under management and led by experienced professionals, PMV offers tailor-made financial solutions including venture capital, loans and guarantees, for entrepreneurs with a solid business plan and a strong management team.
Note to the editors:
Diabetes: Diabetes mellitus (commonly referred to as "diabetes") is a condition that occurs when the body is unable to use glucose (a type of sugar) normally. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body cells. The glucose levels in the blood are controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas.
Continuous glucose monitoring system/CGM: A continuous glucose monitoring system, or CGM for short, is a compact medical system that continuously monitors your blood sugar levels. To use a CGM, a small sensor is fitted onto the abdomen which includes a tiny cannula that penetrates the skin. An adhesive patch holds the sensor in place, allowing it to take glucose readings in interstitial fluid (the fluid that surrounds cells in the body) throughout the day and night. Generally, the sensors need to be replaced every 10 to 14 days. A small transmitter connected to the sensor allows the system to send real-time readings wirelessly to a monitoring device that displays your blood glucose data.
All investors that took part in the Series A financing round:
Thuja Capital Healthcare Fund II, Sensinnovat, PMV, Powergraph, Qbic Arkiv Fund, Fidimec, Manuardeo and Capricorn Partners
Additional investors that took part in the Series B financing round:
Fund+, Ackermans & van Haaren, imec.xpand, Capricorn Digital Growth Fund, QBICII and Titan Baratto