Utopia SIS and Pariter Partners invest in Lighthouse Biotech

Lighthouse Biotech aims to define new boundaries for oncology research through new liquid biopsy technologies

The investment will be the first to be guaranteed by Medio Credito Centrale for over 80%

Milan, December 29, 2021 – Utopia SIS, an investment company specializing in healthcare and biomedicine, promoted and participated by Fondazione GolinelliFondazione Sardegna, and Executive Vice President Antonio Falcone, has invested together with Pariter Partners, an early-stage investment holding focused on deep-tech opportunities and tech transfer, in LighthouseBiotech, a spin-off of the research project conducted by the University of Udine, with the support of the Oncology Center of Aviano and the Stichting Katholieke Universiteit of Nijmegendel, for oncological research on tumor cells at different stages of the disease.

Lighthouse Biotech is working on a project aimed at extracting circulating tumor cells live and intact from a simple blood sample, to avoid repetition with altered metabolism, thus making them traceable even in very early stages of the disease.

The separation process developed makes it possible to store the cells in biobanks, use them in cell cultures to create artificial disease models to test, for example, drugs, or analyze the cells to clarify disease mechanisms, understand the patient’s condition, and above all, recommend personalized therapies.

The research project was developed by the founding members of Lighthouse Biotech: Fabio Del Ben, a medical specialist in clinical pathology and clinical biochemistry at the University of Udine, with a Ph.D. in Nanotechnology from the Graduate School of Nanotechnology in Trieste, a Master’s in Complex Actions at SISSA, and a software programming course at National Instruments in Milan, and Matteo Turetta, a medical officer in clinical pathology and microbiology at the Oncology Center of Aviano, with a master’s in Complex Actions at SISSA.

In addition to scientific expertise, since the company’s inception, the technical-managerial skills of CEO Gianluigi Meneghini, an Electronic Engineer specializing in Applied Optics, and the technical-organizational skills of Subnuclear Physicist specialized in Astroparticle Physics, Villi Scalzotto, both with years of experience in startups, have been added. “This second investment operation, concluded together with Pariter Partners, demonstrates our attention to the world of research and universities.

Our country is rich in clinical and research excellence that needs to be financed to complete the development process, and for this reason, the important commitment of the Medio Credito Centrale represents a strategic testimony for the sector,” commented Antonio Falcone, Executive Vice President of Utopia SIS.

Matteo Elli and Jari Ognibeni, founders of Pariter Partners, commented, “The project developed by Lighthouse Biotech is the perfect example of what Italian research and active support for technology transfer initiatives contribute to creating, changing models and processes even in oncological research, opening up the use of liquid biopsy to a long series of new applications. The investment demonstrates the importance of close collaboration between private investors.

Our experience in frontier innovation and tech transfer, combined with that of Utopia SIS in the life sciences field, can provide solid support for advancing research and providing scientists with new tools and entrepreneurial skills to quickly bring laboratory work to market, thus changing people’s lives especially in the field of oncological prevention and treatment.”

The uniqueness of the investment is also represented by the guarantee issued by the Medio Credito Centrale, the first in the venture capital investment sector, which will cover approximately 80% of the investment.

Utopia SIS in the operation was assisted by Lawyer Chiara Izis of the Law Firm Lener Morrone & Partners as legal advisor for the operation and by Giordano Calzoni who acted as financial advisor for the management of the guarantee with MCC. Pariter Partners was assisted by ADVANT Nctm as legal advisor.

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