All female founded StemSight is the first human stem cell startup from Finland to receive funding, announcing a €500000 seed round from Voima Ventures.
Stemsight aims to help over 12 million people suffer from corneal blindness regain their sight. The all female-founded team, based in Tampere, has announced a new seed round from the DeepTech fund Voima Ventures and Avohoidan Tutkimussäätiö of €500000 to further develop their solution.
Stemsight hopes to introduce a new treatment method that can cure severe corneal blindness with an off-the-shelf stem cell therapy. The funding round will support clinical trials and market approval.
Corneal blindness is the 4th leading cause of blindness, and affects people of all ages. Currently, the treatment for corneal blindness includes a transplant from a donor and the waiting list for corneal transplants is long. Each year there are around 300 new fully untreatable cases in the EU that are destined to be blinded for life. StemSight brings hope to all patients, offering a new treatment that does not depend on cornea donor tissue. CEP Laura Koivusala explains in a press release:
“There is a huge lack of cornea donor tissue with 12.7 million people worldwide waiting for a corneal transplant. We can use human stem cells to manufacture new corneal cells in a scalable way to provide solutions for different types of corneal blindness.”
The StemSight team has worked on the innovation now for a combined 30 years as part of a research group from Tampere University. Now they are taking the innovation out from the lab and bringing it into practice. The members of the founding team have extensive expertise in the field and they have PhDs from Biotechnology, Genetics, and Cell and Tissue Engineering. The team is also one of a kind as it’s one of the few all female teams in the Nordic deep tech scene. “While it’s a big step to start a company, one of the motivations is the possibility of acting as an example for other women to start their companies and go forward,’’ says Koivusalo.