Michigan eLab invests in biotech startup for cancer research

January 2015

Featured in Crain’s Detroit Business on 1/11/2015: Read full article


Michigan eLab LLC, a venture capital firm founded in Ann Arbor last year by three veterans of Silicon Valley, has made its first local investment in Akadeum Life Sciences LLC, a startup that hopes to make it easier, cheaper and faster to prepare tissue, water or food samples for testing.”

“Michigan eLab invested $150,000 in the seed round of funding in Akadeum, which was founded last March by John Younger, a physician and researcher at the University of Michigan, and Brandon McNaughton, a local tech veteran who has been an entrepreneur in residence with the Detroit Innovate Fund, a lecturer at the Center for Entrepreneurship at UM and a consultant for startup companies in UM’s Office of Technology Transfer.”

“Akadeum is unusual for a new biotech startup in that it already has paying customers, eight so far. The company makes tiny glass beads that are coated with antibodies to quickly gather and concentrate the particular kinds of cells that are being looked for in a culture.”

“While traditionally it can take two or three days to grow enough target cells in a culture to make an identification, Akadeum’s technology can reduce that time significantly. McNaughton doesn’t want to be specific about reductions of time, which will vary with what is being cultured, until more studies are done, but said they will be significant, especially for those trying to identify a particular pathogen.”