On January 6, 2023, Linus Biotechnology received $16 million in venture capital financing for its R&D efforts to establish a method for predicting a child’s chances of developing autism using information gleaned from a single piece of hair. Launched in late 2021, the spinout from Mount Sinai Health System said it hopes the funding will help grow its team and enable it to deliver “tangible outcomes” and the clinical data necessary to demonstrate its test can act as an accurate diagnostic aid for autism—even as early as just after birth. LinusBio’s $16 million Series A round was led by GreatPoint Ventures and Bow Capital and joined by Divergent Investments, Bia-Echo Foundation President Nicole Shanahan, the David Bellet Family Office, Gillian Sandler, and Francisco Partners co-founder Sanford Robertson, among others. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati represented LinusBio in the transaction.
According to LinusBio, its StrandDx test for autism spectrum disorder—which previously received a breakthrough designation from the FDA shortly after LinusBio’s 2021 debut—is designed to assess a person’s likelihood of autism by searching for the molecular fingerprints that the environment can leave on the human body. It’s the result of research into what’s been dubbed the exposome, or a cataloging of the myriad impacts that can follow environmental exposures, such as pollutants, diet, lifestyle factors, and other elements—collectively summing up the “nurture” compared to DNA’s “nature” when it comes to making us who we are.
The Wilson Sonsini team that represented LinusBio in the transaction includes Martin Waters, Samir Elamrani, Zak Vasilyuk, and Bridget Balisy.
For more information, please see news coverage at Fierce Biotech, NBC News, and the New York Post, among others.