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VC-backed Nicoya Lifesciences acquires SK Technologies

Nicoya Lifesciences has acquired SK Technologies, a University of Toronto startup decentralizing laboratory testing with a high-throughput lab-in-a-box platform.

Nicoya Lifesciences has acquired SK Technologies, a University of Toronto startup decentralizing laboratory testing with a high-throughput lab-in-a-box platform. No financial terms were disclosed. Nicoya, a Kitchener, Ontario-based provider of digital proteomics solutions, last year closed a C$20 million Series A financing extension led by Whitecap Venture Partners.

PRESS RELEASE

KITCHENER, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nicoya Lifesciences, a global innovator of digital proteomics solutions for diagnostics and biotherapeutic discovery, today announced the acquisition of LSK Technologies, a University of Toronto startup decentralizing laboratory testing with their high-throughput lab-in-a-box platform. The acquisition comes amid the latest wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections, effectuating the need for versatile testing solutions to respond to rapidly evolving biological threats. Together, the two firms are set to transform access and affordability of laboratory quality testing for a variety of applications, including point-of-need testing.

Nicoya has continued to build upon its novel method of viral detection since receiving over $2 million in federal funding in 2021, incorporating their digital microfluidic (DMF) and nanoplasmonic biosensor technology into a portable device for rapid antigen testing. With the integration of LSK’s amplification technology and associated IP, Nicoya will further broaden the applicability of their platform across a variety of testing and diagnostic applications, while maintaining affordability and ease of use.

“This acquisition comes as a natural progression for both organizations as we simultaneously look to disrupt the molecular detection and diagnostics space with our next-generation technologies,” said Ryan Denomme, Nicoya’s CEO and co-founder. “Joining forces with LSK presents a game-changing opportunity to strengthen our foundation in point-of-need testing and vastly change the future of how we discover and test for diseases. We are excited to bring the team on board and combine our unique expertise to expand Nicoya’s technology portfolio.”

LSK was among the wave of companies that pivoted to fighting the global pandemic, working as a key supporting partner for a federal grant awarded in 2020 to scale up portable diagnostic testing. Their core technology originated in a University of Toronto lab in 2016 for Zika virus detection, where co-founders Seray Çiçek and Yuxiu (Livia) Guo invented and field tested the technology with Keith Pardee, Canada Research Chair in Synthetic Biology in Human Health at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. With support from the Velocity incubator at the University of Waterloo, U of T incubators Health Innovation Hub (H2i) and UTEST, and international accelerator Y-Combinator, they successfully expanded the technology to conduct a wider range of viral detection tests.

LSK’s team, including Çiçek and Guo, will join Nicoya to further develop Nicoya’s DMF-based testing platform with the integration of their proprietary bioassay. As part of the acquisition, Nicoya will continue to support LSK’s existing customers, and plan to offer LSK products under the Nicoya brand.

“We look forward to working together to revolutionize the way laboratory quality testing is conducted today,” said Seray Cicek, CEO and co-founder of LSK Technologies. “By capitalizing on the strengths of both companies, we will accelerate the march towards our collective vision of making testing more accessible and affordable.”

About LSK Technologies
LSK offers a disruptive platform that enables nucleic acid and protein testing of versatile samples at any time, generating results in 30 minutes while providing real time access to laboratory-grade results. The first versions of the device, dubbed PLUM, were deployed to remote Latin American communities to tackle the threat of Zika virus. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the company quickly expanded their platform to detect SARS-CoV-2. Learn more at lifesci-key.com.

About Nicoya Lifesciences

Nicoya is a leading provider of advanced analytical instruments for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The Canadian company’s mission is to improve human life by helping scientists succeed. Its instruments are used by hundreds of world-renowned researchers in over 40 countries. Information about Nicoya can be found at nicoyalife.com, on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.