Eindhoven-based Xyall BV, a medtech innovator in molecular pathology, announced on Tuesday that it has raised €6M in its Series B round of funding to accelerate the commercialisation of its Tissector High Throughput and Tissector Table Top systems.
The missing critical link
Molecular diagnostics has enabled clinicians to target treatment that suits a patient’s specific biological status. These diagnostic tests have advanced in PCR and next-generation sequencing technologies. However, selecting tissue and cell samples for molecular diagnostic testing still remains a labour-intensive manual process with a risk of error and cross-contamination.
For instance, current practice involves the pathologist in pen-marking Regions of Interest (ROIs) on hematoxylin & eosin (H&E) stained slides. Using visual assessment, lab technicians then translate these ROIs into dissection slides, manually scraping the tissue and placing it in small containers. In addition, there is also a shortage of lab technicians, placing workflow and sample handling pressures on clinical labs.
This critical link in the chain of precision medicine needs an overhaul to catch up with the advances made on the other ends of this process. Xyall claims that it can address this need with its fully automated solution by integrating solutions in precision movement, robotics, image registration, and workflow optimisation.
What does Xyall offer?
Xyall was founded in August, 2018, by Guido du Pree and Hans van Wijngaarden. Both the founders are advocates of precision medicine and worked together at Philips Healthcare as part of the senior management team developing the company’s global digital pathology business.
Xyall says its technology solutions address the need for accuracy, speed and ease of use in an automated system to make the ‘most’ efficient use of existing staffing levels. The company says, “Our Automated Tissue Dissection solution enables accurate Region of Interest determination and dissection. It eases your staff’s workload while allowing you to process more cases per hour, free of cross-contamination.”
Xyall scans the Hematoxylin & Eosin stained slides and the dissection slides, displaying tissue samples at the right magnification. This makes Region of Interest detection easier for the pathologist.
Guido du Pree, Xyall’s CEO, explains, “The increase in new therapies is driving up demand for molecular diagnostic tests to inform treatment decisions for cancer patients. These tests require a consistently high sample quality and efficiency that is difficult to achieve with the current way of working.”
“Clinicians and lab scientists have been calling for faster and more accurate tissue dissection so that precision medicine could become a reality. Xyall’s technology provides the missing link by delivering fully automated tissue dissection solutions which enable a more efficient, standardised and more accurate workflow,” adds Guido du Pree.
The company’s first solution, the Tissector High Throughput system, is aimed at large molecular labs and was launched in 2021. Xyall has already sold several high throughput systems to large commercial labs in the US, with the first becoming fully operational from March this year.
Later this year, the company says it will also launch its compact Tissector Table Top system for hospital-based molecular pathology labs. This will be unveiled in November, 2022, at the Annual Molecular Pathology (AMP) meeting in Phoenix, the US, with labs worldwide already expressing interest.
Investors of this round
The investment comes from a consortium led by Health Investment Partners (HIP). Existing investors Sioux Technologies, the Brabant Development Agency and several private investors also participated.
HIP partner Donar van den Berg says, “Xyall offers a unique solution in the molecular laboratory automation space, linking morphology and molecular diagnostics. Their fully automated, digital solutions will fit seamlessly into the future direction of healthcare as it evolves around precision medicine. We are proud to play a significant role in supporting Xyall in achieving its aims.”
Prior to this, Xyall raised a Series A seed investment of €5M in January, 2020, from investment partners Sioux Technologies, BOM Brabant Ventures, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, and other private investors.