citybiz+ Sands Capital Joins $48 Million Funding Round for Selux Diagnostics

Arlington, Va.-based Sands Capital has joined a $48 million funding round for Selux Diagnostics, a biotech startup promising personalized therapies. The round was led by RA Capital Management, with participation from Northpond Ventures and Schooner Capital.

Selux, based in Charlestown, Mass., has raised a total of $220.5 million. Its platform has received federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

Life Sciences Focus

Founded in 1992 by Frank M. Sands, Sands Capital has raised a total of $2.1 billion from eight funds. The firm has made over 150 portfolio investments and more than 30 exits. Its most recent fund was Sands Capital Life Sciences Pulse Fund II, which raised $560 million in 2021. Close of the fund raised the firm’s so-called Pulse Strategy assets under management to nearly $1 billion, including Sands Capital Life Sciences Pulse Fund, L.P. and related vehicles.

The staff-owned firm, led by CEO Sands, runs an integrated investment platform spanning venture capital, growth equity and public equity. It manages more than $66.7 billion in client assets. Besides its headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area, it has offices in London and Singapore.

Sands Capital’s recent investments include Celestial AI, Avenzo Therapeutics and Alamar Biosciences. Its notable exits include DoorDash, Funding Circle and Anaplan.

Near Commercialization

Selux was founded by the duo of Eric Stern and Aleksandar Vacic. Both earned a Ph. D. from Yale University, Stern in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering, and Vacic in Engineering and Applied Sciences (Electronic, Photonic and Nanodevices). The two worked together at 1366 Technologies. Stern serves as Selux’s chief technology officer, while Vacic is president.

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On the verge of commercializing its next-generation phenotyping (NGP) system, Selux says it will help combat superbug infections and antimicrobial resistance, and enable personalized antibiotic therapies and antimicrobial therapy for all infectious disease patients. By fighting growing antibiotic resistance epidemic, the advances are expected to save lives and shorten hospital stays.

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“Selux’s combination of unparalleled time to results and antibiotic test menu, together with its high throughput, will impact patient care and preserve the efficacy of critical antibiotics,” Selux Diagnostics CEO Steve Lufkin said after the company’s $50 million Series C in 2022.

“The Selux platform will become the system of choice for healthcare providers dedicated to providing best-in-class septic and other infectious diseases patient care,” added the life sciences industry veteran. Selux says its platform is the only one of its kind to receive FDA clearance.