WHERE ARE THE WINNERS TODAY: ARMUNE BIOSCIENCE / 2010 WINNER

WHERE ARE THE WINNERS TODAY: ARMUNE BIOSCIENCE / 2010 WINNER

WHERE ARE THE WINNERS?

armune-bioscience

2010 Accelerate Michigan Grand Prize Winner


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Company Profile:dtm-4

Founded – 2008
Location – Kalamazoo, MI
Employees – 11
Total Fundraised – $11.9M+
Leadership

  • David Esposito, CEO
  • Eli Thomssen, Chief Business Officer
  • Sue Crookston, CFO
  • Jim Arthurs, Chief Operating Officer
  • Jeanne Ohrnberger, PhD, Laboratory Director

 


 

dtm-2The Accelerate Michigan team caught up with Armune BioScience, the inaugural Grand Prize winner of the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition in 2010. We spent a few hours with the founding team to get a sense of how the company has progressed over the last six years and what is on the horizon leading into 2017.

Armune BioScience has developed the APIFINY – a technology that assess the risk of prostate cancer using 8-biomarkers produced in response to the onset of the cancer. The APIFINY blood test allows for the early detection of prostate cancer, which drastically improves long-term survival rates for the disease that affects 1 in 6 men after age 60.

The company was founded during the economic downturn of 2008, and as one could imagine, it was extremely difficult for the company to raise money and stay afloat. After encouragement from Ann Arbor SPARK, the company decided to compete in the premier Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition in 2010 and took the Grand Prize.

Since winning, the company began marketing the product in Spring 2015 and is approaching 8,000 orders from 500+ physicians and urologists across 35 states in the United States. In fact, the leadership team attributes their first sale to the regional publicity they received from winning Accelerate Michigan – their first customer was a family practitioner in Kalamazoo.

Leading into 2017, Armune BioScience is raising a $25M Series B financing round. This fundraise will allow the company to acquire a CLIA license in New York, expand marketing efforts internationally, shore up R&D efforts to branch into lung & breast cancer diagnosis, and help make the company financially sustainable.

Key Learnings:

  • The product and business roadmap has to be built for years of growth, yet must be easily digestible by potential investors, partners and customers
  • Be specific in outlining the market opportunity, solution, customer segment and growth strategy to investors
  • Perseverance must remain front of mind to keep the team morale up
  • Understand that timelines are not always linear, create a time buffer for a learning curve and keep your eyes on the end goal

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