Read more about our major announcements, accomplishments and important news.
Jan 8, 2024
Pleno Deploys its RAPTOR Instrument Platform Available with TotalSeq™ Antibodies from BioLegend
The integration seeks to enable multi-omic biomarker detection at unprecedented speed, scale, and cost
SAN DIEGO, Jan. 08, 2024 — Pleno Inc., a multi-omic instrument platform company revolutionizing biological target detection for clinical testing and biomedical research, today announced successful deployment of the first of its RAPTOR instruments integrated with industry-leading TotalSeq™ antibodies from BioLegend, part of Revvity. This marks the first instance of an early access version of RAPTOR with Pleno’s groundbreaking multi-omic readout technology called Hypercoding™ verified outside of its development lab. This milestone signals a crucial step toward broader availability of Pleno’s technology with expanded applications.
Hypercoding is Pleno’s proprietary biomarker detection technology which incorporates aspects of code multiplexing derived from digital telecommunications combined with advanced biochemistry to deliver unprecedented speed, scale, and cost improvements over current methods. The technology is capable of simultaneously detecting 10,000 or more biomarkers per sample from several different types, including SNVs, small and large indels, CNVs, pseudogenes, fusions, RNA, methylation, and in this case, proteins via oligo-conjugated antibodies. The RAPTOR instrument platform utilizes Hypercoding to detect these biomarkers rapidly and efficiently at a sample throughput that is scalable from a couple dozen samples to 96. Samples are isolated in individual wells in the standard-format well-plate consumables, greatly simplifying the upfront sample preparation workflow. The end-to-end workflow is designed to be completed within a single eight-hour shift for most applications.
Pleno’s technology has wide relevance across various research and clinical applications encompassing pharmacogenomics, tumor profiling, early cancer screening, NIPT, infectious diseases, agrigenomics, and more. One of the most intriguing aspects of this technology is its ability to detect multi-omic content within a single instrument run. Notably, it allows the ability to incorporate protein markers into DNA, RNA, or methylation-based detection panels. To this end, Pleno and BioLegend have collaborated to integrate their technologies, facilitating a streamlined approach for customers to enable multi-omic content.
“We are extremely proud to see the first of our RAPTOR instruments leave the nest,” said Pieter van Rooyen, founder and CEO of Pleno. “It is a true testament to our incredible team which has not only reimagined genomic testing, but also made it a reality in record time.”
Select partners can evaluate the performance of the RAPTOR instrument during this early access period ahead of production-ready instruments expected in Q4 2024, and full commercial availability in Q1 2025.
“The proprietary technologies in BioLegend’s TotalSeq portfolio of proven antibodies are currently used on many different platforms and are a nice fit with Pleno’s technology, giving customers expanded choices with the transformative potential of multi-omic content integration,” said Craig Monell, senior vice president of business operations at BioLegend.
Based in San Diego’s Sorrento Mesa Innovation Hub, Pleno is strategically located to draw on a talented pool of scientists, telecommunication engineers, and biotechnology innovators. Currently employing 64 full-time employees, the company envisions rapid team growth in the coming months.
Nov 9, 2022
Multi-omics Startup Pleno Inc. Continues to Strengthen its Board of Directors
Mark Gardner, long-time Thermo Fisher veteran and Senior Vice President of Molecular Genomics and Oncology at Quest Diagnostics, has joined Pleno’s Board
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – November 9, 2022— Pleno Inc., a multi-omic instrument platform company revolutionizing biological target detection for clinical testing and biomedical research, announced that Mark Gardner has joined its Board of Directors. Gardner joins Chairman, Gregory T. Lucier, Kim Kamdar, Andrew ElBardissi, Vik Barjaj, and Pieter van Rooyen, Pleno’s CEO. In October, Pleno announced a $40 million Series A funding round, led by Deerfield Management with participation by Foresite Capital.
Gardner brings more than 30 years of senior management experience to Pleno. He is a proven business leader, with successful endeavors in globally renowned early stage and well-established businesses. He is currently Senior Vice President of Molecular Genomics and Oncology at Quest Diagnostics, where he is responsible for driving growth for Quest’s Advanced Diagnostics offerings by providing genetic sequencing services and cancer diagnostics, working closely with all clinical franchises. Previously, Gardner served as Senior Vice President at Corza Health and as the Chief Executive Officer of OmniSeq. Prior to that, he spent more than 12 years in various executive roles at Thermo Fisher Scientific (previously Life Technologies), including the Vice President and General Manager of the Ion Torrent business unit.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have someone of Mark’s caliber and experience join our Board at Pleno,” said Pieter van Rooyen, Founder and CEO of Pleno. “His deep industry understanding, combined with his ability to translate strategy into exceptional execution, will bring immense value to us as we continue to push the boundaries of what can be done with biological target detection.”
Pleno’s HypercodingTM technology enables a wide array of multi-omic, known-content applications, such as early cancer screening, non-invasive prenatal testing, newborn screening, large-scale infectious disease panels, proteomics, agrigenomics and more, to be democratized and scaled at a rate required to support a global population approaching 8 billion. Developers of these applications can utilize Pleno’s technology to rapidly deploy low-cost, high throughput and multiplexed assays at a scale, which was previously unachievable. RAPTORTM, Pleno’s Hypercoding instrument platform, will be available for early customer access in 2023, with commercial availability in 2024.
“Pleno’s potential to directly address the significant unmet need in the proliferating multi-omics space is truly impressive,” said Mark Gardner, member of Pleno’s Board of Directors. “I look forward to supporting this all-star team in executing on their vision, as well as guiding the future direction and growth of the company.”
Pleno is based in San Diego’s Sorrento Mesa innovation hub proximate to a robust talent pool of experienced scientists, telecommunication engineers, and biotechnology innovators. The company currently employs 28 full-time employees and plans to continue to grow its team rapidly in the coming months.
Oct 26, 2022
Multi-omics Startup Pleno Inc. Expands Leadership Team to Accelerate Development of its Novel Hypercoding Technology
Industry Veterans and Broadcom Alumni Bring Deep Experience in Coding Theory, Software Architecture and Systems Engineering to Pleno’s Rapidly Growing Team
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – October 26, 2022— Pleno Inc., a multi-omic instrument platform company revolutionizing biological target detection for clinical testing and biomedical research, announced that Jason Trachewsky has joined the company as Vice President of Software, and Professor Nambi Seshadri, Ph.D. has joined as Chairman of Pleno’s Scientific Advisory Board.
“Pleno’s novel HypercodingTM technology utilizes techniques derived from the telecommunications industry, combined with advanced biochemistry, to deliver unmatched scale, precision and performance in multi-omic biomarker detection,” said Pieter van Rooyen, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Pleno. “We are incredibly excited to bolster our highly skilled team with the capabilities and experience that both Jason and Nambi bring to the table. Pleno has had longstanding relationships with both of them, and we’re thrilled to be bringing them on in a larger capacity as we continue to expand.”
Pleno is rapidly growing its San Diego, California-based team of experienced scientists, telecoms engineers, and biotechnology innovators developing its RAPTORTM instrument platform. Hypercoding, the key technology that RAPTOR is built upon, utilizes biochemistry versions of advanced code multiplexing and error correction techniques that are typically used in today’s leading cellphones. Pleno’s multidisciplinary team spans many different industries and brings together top talent from throughout the region. The company aims to more than double in size over the next six to nine months.
“It is inspiring to see the level of innovation that is achievable when technology from one industry is applied to another,” said Jason Trachewsky, Vice President of Software at Pleno. “I look forward to the opportunity to have a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of so many people.”
Trachewsky was most recently the Chief Executive Officer of Aquifi, Inc., a provider of networked material inspection solutions using 3D cameras. Prior to Aquifi, Trachewsky was founder, Chief Operating Officer and a key technology developer at Passif Semiconductor, a VC-backed startup developing extremely low-power wireless transceivers for portable devices, acquired by Apple, Inc. in April 2013. Jason came to Passif Semiconductor from Broadcom Corporation, where he co-founded, and spent 11 years leading, as well as growing the engineering team for the WiFi Business Unit.
“I have known Pieter and many of the Pleno team for a very long time and continue to be impressed by their ability to execute on groundbreaking new concepts,” said Professor Nambi Seshadri, Ph.D., Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board at Pleno. “The idea that we can now use technology that I helped develop in telecommunications to potentially detect diseases such as cancer is thrilling, and I am excited to be a part of it.”
Seshadri, a member of US National Academy of Engineering and IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal recipient, brings a wealth of experience in the telecommunications sector to Pleno. He is a Distinguished Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, as well as a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California San Diego. Previously he spent more than 16 years at Broadcom as the first employee dedicated to developing the company’s wireless strategy. As VP and CTO of the Mobile Platforms and Wireless Connectivity business groups, Seshadri, helped drive Broadcom’s entry into 2G, 3G and 4G cellular, mobile multimedia, low power Wi-Fi for handsets, combo chips that integrate multiple wireless connectivity technologies, and GPS. He also served as Senior VP and General Manager of the Mobile Platforms Solutions business unit.
Oct 12, 2022
Multi-omics Startup Pleno Inc. Announces $40 Million in Series A Funding Led by Deerfield Management with Participation by Foresite Capital
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – October, 2022— Pleno Inc., a multi-omic instrument platform company revolutionizing biological target detection for clinical testing and biomedical research, announced the close of $40 million in Series A financing led by Deerfield Management Company with participation by Foresite Capital. Launched in 1994, Deerfield Management Company is an investment firm dedicated to advancing healthcare through information, investment, and philanthropy—all toward the end goal of cures for disease, improved quality of life, and reduced cost of care. Founded in 2011, Foresite Capital is a multi-stage healthcare and life sciences investment firm that uses a data science-driven approach to invest in companies that leverage biology and big data to transform healthcare.
“Deerfield is proud to lead Pleno’s Series A financing,” said Andrew ElBardissi, MD, Partner at Deerfield Management. “Pleno’s team has developed a versatile platform at the intersection of technology and life sciences which has the potential to disrupt existing sequencing and multi-omic approaches that are critical for drug development and clinical diagnostics.”
Pleno’s unique enabling technology called Hypercoding™, leverages signal processing techniques derived from the telecom industry to deliver ultra-high plexity targeted biological information – including DNA, RNA, methylation, and proteomic content – at high throughput, increased precision and performance.
“Genotyping and sequencing have enhanced our understanding of the molecular drivers of disease and its response to treatment, particularly in oncology. Yet the cost and increasing complexity of these centralized measurements causes healthcare disparities,” said Dr. Vik Bajaj, Managing Director at Foresite Capital. “The impressive work that Pieter and his team at Pleno are doing will potentially reduce costs and broaden access to these critical technologies for patients worldwide.”
The newly raised funds will accelerate the development of Pleno’s Hypercoding™ instrument platform, called RAPTOR™, which is slated for early customer access in 2023 and full availability in 2024. RAPTOR expected to deliver ultra-high target multiplexing combined with high dynamic range and very low limit of detection (LoD), while still being able to process anywhere from 8 to 384 samples per run. Instrument run-times will range between 1 to 3 hours, depending on the level of target multiplexing, dynamic range and LoD required by each customer’s assay and application.
“We are incredibly excited to work with Deerfield Management and Foresite Capital as we continue to accelerate the development of our groundbreaking instrument platform,” said Pieter van Rooyen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Pleno. “The overwhelming interest already received from potential customers has clearly shown just how important this technology is and how much it is needed across a wide variety of applications, ranging from early cancer screening, NIPT and infectious diseases, to pharmacogenomics, proteomics and agrigenomics.”
Pleno is based in San Diego’s Sorrento Mesa innovation hub proximate to a robust talent pool of experienced scientists, telecommunication engineers, and biotechnology innovators. The company currently employs 24 full-time employees and plans to continue to grow its team rapidly in the coming months.
May 25, 2022
Multi-omics Startup Pleno Inc. Announces $15 Million in Pre-Series A Funding
Financing Led by Medical Excellence Capital and Alexandria Venture Investments
Gregory T. Lucier joins Pleno as Chairman of the Board of Directors
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – May 18, 2022— Pleno Inc., a multi-omic instrument platform company revolutionizing biological target detection for clinical testing and biomedical research, announced the close of $15 million in Pre-Series A financing led by experienced life science investors and companies including Medical Excellence Capital and Alexandria Venture Investments. The company also announced the addition of biotech industry veteran Gregory T. Lucier as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
“Rarely do I see a company with the potential to disrupt both emerging and mature markets on the scale of what is possible with Pleno’s technology,” said Gregory T. Lucier, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Pleno. “This isn’t an incremental innovation, it’s a game changer for biomedical research and the widespread clinical adoption of applications like liquid biopsies.” Mr. Lucier has also made a substantial investment in the company as part of the Pre-Series A funding.
Pleno has developed a unique enabling technology called Hypercoding™, which leverages signal processing techniques derived from the telecom industry to deliver ultra-high plexity targeted biological information – including DNA, RNA, methylation, and proteomic content – at unprecedented scale, precision, and performance. The newly raised funds will support the development of Pleno’s Hypercoding™ instrument platform, capable of detecting up to 10,000 targets per sample and processing up to 10,000 samples per day, via a simple, low-cost workflow. This is equivalent to 1,000 times the target multiplexing of polymerase chain reaction technology (PCR) and 100 times the sample throughput of next-generation sequencing (NGS).
“The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the limitations of our current biological research and testing paradigms in terms of capability, scalability, throughput, and cost,” said Pieter van Rooyen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Pleno. “Our technology was born from the desire to enable the simultaneous and rapid detection of more targets, from more samples at a dramatically lower cost, which we believe has the potential to democratize clinical multi-omics and ultimately transform human health.”
“I’ve known Pieter for years and he’s built a team that brings rich and varied experience in genomics, biochemistry, and telecom coding algorithms,” said Kim Kamdar, Partner at Medical Excellence Capital and Board Member at Pleno. “The unique combination of these capabilities will enable Pleno to upend the status quo in the research and clinical testing markets.”
Pleno is based in San Diego’s Sorrento Mesa innovation hub proximate to a robust talent pool of experienced scientists, telecommunication engineers, and biotechnology innovators. The company currently employs 14 full time employees and plans to rapidly grow its team in the coming months.
In The News
Find out more about our company, technology and story in some of the in-depth media articles below. Click the links for full content.
Multiomics Startup Pleno Targeting Sequencing, PCR Markets With New Molecular Detection Technology
May 27, 2022 | Adam Bonislawski
NEW YORK – Backed by $15 million in pre-Series A funding, San Diego-based startup Pleno is targeting 2023 for a limited commercial launch of its molecular detection platform.
Based on so-called Hypercoding technology, the platform will be capable of detecting up to 10,000 nucleic acid targets per sample and processing up to 10,000 samples per day, according to the firm.
Pleno Founder and CEO Pieter van Rooyen said the system will offer a more streamlined, less expensive, and higher-throughput alternative to next-generation sequencing in applications where researchers, and, eventually clinicians, are looking to analyze large numbers of known nucleic acid targets.
“There are a lot of genomic tests now where you need to detect many different targets,” he said, citing as examples applications like cancer screening and surveillance of multiple infectious disease variants.
Signal Strength: Pleno’s Multiomics Tools Apply Telecom Techniques
At the junction of telecommunications and biochemistry, a San Diego company is pursuing Series A financing after raising $15 million towards developing target detection instruments for clinical testing and biomedical research.
July 27, 2022 | Alex Philippidis
Can technologies from the industry that put smartphones in nearly everyone’s hands help bring multiomics tools into every commercial and academic lab?
Pleno thinks so. The San Diego startup has developed a platform that applies signal processing techniques derived from telecommunications toward the detection of biological targets for biomedical research and clinical testing. The technology is intended to enable a wide variety of applications that include screening and detection, diagnostics, and prognostics.
Pleno’s Hypercoding™ technology is designed to deliver DNA, RNA, methylation, and proteomic content, among examples of ultra-high plexity (high number of targets) multiomic biological information. Hypercoding can detect up to 10,000 targets per sample and process up to 10,000 samples per day, through a workflow the company describes as simple and low-cost.