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Aspect Analytics, a university spin-off from KU Leuven (Flanders), has raised EUR 1.8 million to scale up its two-dimensional software for the fine-grained analysis of tumors. Founded in 2018, the Genk-based company developed its technology in the promising field of spatial multiomics analysis. It can combine and map all kinds of tumor tissue data two-dimensionally. Think of data about a shortage or excess of certain proteins, abnormalities of genes and cells, etc.

The complete puzzle

“If you look at the analysis of a tumor as a puzzle, most techniques only bring one or a few pieces to the table,” says Marc Claesen, CEO and co-founder. “For example, one method may map the genetic code, while another technique focuses on protein expression. We, however, bring all relevant data together and spatially image it.”

Pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Boehringer Ingelheim are already using Aspect Analytics’ technology. The same goes for several companies active in diagnostics, as well as numerous universities, including KU Leuven and UHasselt in Flanders and Vanderbilt University in the US.

Scaling ambitions

“There’s a clear market demand, now we want to scale up, both locally and internationally,” says Claesen. To take this next step, Aspect Analytics has raised EUR 1.8 million. The Heran Partners investment fund coordinated the financing round and is responsible for 70% of the total investment amount. The rest comes from the entrepreneurs themselves, KU Leuven and Dagda Ventures. 

Better cancer diagnoses

Cancer experts estimate that technology like that of Aspect Analytics is still in its infancy, but holds the promise of better cancer diagnoses and therefore more targeted treatments

“The advantage of spatial multidose technology is that you can paint a much more realistic and fine-grained picture of tumors per patient, because with this technique the cells are examined in their original spatial context in the tissue,” says Professor Johan Van Lint, coordinator of cancer research at the Leuven Cancer Institute.

Discover Flanders’ life sciences & health ecosystem

Aspect Analytics is just one of the many spin-offs, start-ups and scale-ups that make Flanders’ business and research ecosystem for life sciences & health so successful. Want to unravel this ecosystem in a virtual yet interactive way? Head to the Flanders360 platform and discover 300+ companies, universities, R&D centers, incubators and other players active in Flanders’ life sciences & health industry.  

Alternatively, check out our industry overview to learn more about the available tax, legal and other incentives for establishing your life sciences & health hub in Flanders. 

Reported by
newspaper De Tijd

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