Pavol Cekan, CEO and Co-Founder of MultiplexDX speaks to us about their incredible success story.
What are you most proud of achieving with your team this year?
There are so many things that we must mention for 2018. We are very proud of closed €1,2M Seed B investment, of achieved Seal of Excellence from Horizon2020 SME program, of our new EU patent application, that we became a member of the prestigious Oslo Cancer Cluster, that we were selected for and attended top 3 EU Health Hub Vienna accelerator, received 3 Slovak non-dilutive government grants and of course that we won CESAwards the best social impact startup.
What do you value most in people? Especially those in your team?
We value honesty, candidness, work ethic and team spirit of our all team members.
Cancer research and diagnosis is a field that’s rapidly evolving and is gaining mainstream momentum. Taking into account the existing technology and knowledge, where is cancer treatment heading for in your opinion?
In 1960s, only 33% of cancer patients survived after 5 years. Nowadays, we have 66% 5-year survival rate. I think we are heading to 90% 5-year survival rate thanks to modern precise and personalized diagnostic technologies, many new cancer treatments but let’s not forget cancer prevention, too.
Can you tell us about a customer success story that you are especially proud of?
Our main product is personalized multiplexed diagnostic test (Multiplex9+) for breast cancer patients. However, it is still in pre-clinical validation, therefore, we don’t have any customer story about this cancer DX test, yet. However, we are selling sub-products of Multiplex9+ that arise from visualization (RNA FISH) and sequencing (RNAseq) technologies, which are combined in our diagnostic test. Since 2016, we have generated €200k revenue from sold sub-products.
We are very proud in general, that, as a diagnostic startup we are already generating revenue.
In your opinion what are the single best and the single worst things running a startup from Central Europe?
The best thing of running diagnostic startup in CE region is the opportunity to become a pioneer, to be one of the first disrupting diagnostic startups, to create a completely new industry in Slovakia, for example.
The worst thing is that our CE mentality is not yet adapted to high-risk-high-reward projects, often including our governments, which hinders fast grow of the diagnostic startups in CE region.
6. What’s next for MultiplexDX? What do you anticipate most the next year will bring for the company and the team?
From company point of view, we have moved our labs from USA to Bratislava and are looking forward to building a completely new laboratory in Slovakia. Regarding Multiplex9+, we will soon start a massive clinical validation and it will be great to see the results and the precision, the accuracy, the reproducibility of this great cancer diagnostic test. The sooner we are done with this, the sooner we can help cancer patients. We are also preparing Series A fundraising, already creating interest among many investors. This is always fun, and it won’t be different for this Series A.
What were the best conferences you attended in 2018? And why?
2018 was very busy year for us. We did not have so much time to attend many conferences. However, having won Startup Awards in 2016, we attended Startup Awards/Future Now Alumni meeting, which gathered the finalists of these “Oscars” for the best early-stage startups with global potential in CEE region. It was great to meet startups from the same region with similar stories and exchange experience on building successful companies, but also discuss how we solve problems, circumvent obstacles and adapt to ever changing environment.