With an eye toward launching its first product, Mobilion Systems Inc. has revealed a $35 million series B funding round led by Amoon.
Todd Sone, partner at Amoon who also is joining the company’s board, highlighted the duo’s common vision to develop technologies that offer high resolution and speed. "Mobilion is our latest in a series of investments in the 'omics' space, and we look forward to supporting [CEO] Melissa [Sherman] and her outstanding team as they advance large molecule development and novel biomarker discovery."
Specifically, the Chadds Ford, Pa.-based company expects to use the funds to build the commercial team to back its product based on the ion mobility separations technology, known as Structures for Lossless Ion Manipulation (SLIM). Other participants were Agilent Technologies, IP Group, Hostplus and Cultivation Capital.
This funding follows a series A round totaling $15.4 million that the company revealed in November 2019.
During June’s American Society for Mass Spectrometry’s 2020 virtual conference, the company showcased its first ion mobility separations product to the biopharma drug development and academic research market.
The company’s SLIM technology aims to separate, identify and analyze challenging, clinically significant molecules that other instruments might not be able to detect. The goal is to enable earlier disease detection, improved diagnostic accuracy and treatment options, along with reduced health care costs.
The technology applies electric fields to electrodes on conventional parallel printed circuit board surfaces, thus creating ion conduits that can separate and move ions losslessly.
Further, the product can be integrated with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry workflows, and, for some applications, replace liquid chromatography to provide enhanced resolution, speed, ease of use and greater instrument uptime. It noted that it had partnered with Agilent to integrate SLIM with Agilent’s Q-Tof mass spectrometry platform as the company’s first commercial product offering.
Also with the funding, the company plans to expand the development of its product portfolio for pharma quality control and diagnostic applications. Of note, it is developing what it has called an easier to use, operator-simplified standalone SLIM product that does not require integration with a mass spectrometer for translation to pharmaceutical quality control and diagnostic laboratories.
Sherman expressed enthusiasm about Amoon’s support, as well as the positive feedback related to its beta launch. Its first product was launched to select beta users this year and was offered to customers via sample analysis collaborations in Mobilion's applications laboratory. The company expects the product to be launched in North America early next year.
“This round of financing will augment our sales and marketing efforts and accelerate the development of second-generation products," Sherman added.
Just last month, the company highlighted that it had boosted its employee base by 40%. It also boasted of raising awareness in industry via partnerships.
“In the first half of 2020, our teams continue to implement successfully, and the first use cases of the SLIM technology are proving to be disruptive,” noted Sherman. “Despite COVID-19 we have hit all milestones and are being tapped by our beta users who want to use SLIM for COVID research. SLIM’s high resolution unlocks small structural differences that impact the research of the virus, the disease and its potential therapeutics.”
Indeed, the company has looked to lend its talents during the COVID-19 pandemic, as its product is being employed for glycan characterization of the spike protein that decorates the virus’ surface and its interaction with the host cell receptor angiotensin converting enzyme 2. Researchers hope the glycan analysis of COVID-19 could add to the understanding of how the virus binds to its target and provide insights that are essential for the development of an effective treatment.
To help in the fight, the company reported earlier this year that it was teaming up with Lance Wells and Michael Tiemeyer, both of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center at the University of Georgia, to conduct the COVID-19 glycan analysis.