Cambridge University spin-off receives backing by ZEISS Ventures to drive 3D imaging flow cytometry

Oberkochen, Germany | ZEISS Group

The ZEISS Ventures portfolio continues to grow in the life science space with the investment in ZOMP, an early-stage start-up based in Cambridge, UK, developing a 3D imaging flow cytometer that enables highly accurate quantitative imaging of millions of cells in a single experiment.

The ZEISS Ventures portfolio continues to grow in the life science space with the investment in ZOMP, an early-stage start-up based in Cambridge, UK, developing a 3D imaging flow cytometer that enables highly accurate quantitative imaging of millions of cells in a single experiment.

ZOMP, a spinout from the University of Cambridge, is combining whole-cell 3D imaging with flow cytometry in a new instrument to revolutionize the way cells are analyzed and sorted. This innovation is based on Zomp’s LightGate technology, incorporating a microlens array to collect fluorescence and instantly measure multiple 2D views of the same cell. These data are an instant 3D snapshot of the cell as it passes through a tunable light sheet, by deconvoluting the series of images into a 3D view of the cell.

The £2 million seed funding round is co-led by ZEISS Ventures, Foresight WAE Technology and BGF. ZOMP will use the funds to develop a minimum viable product and identify optimal customer applications.

“ZOMP’s innovative technology has the potential to disrupt the current flow cytometry market due to its ability to capture not only binary information about cells, but also morphological and spatial information at a single cell level. In the future, image-based cell sorting will enable new experiments in life science and biotechnology applications. ZEISS Ventures is very pleased to support ZOMP’s journey not only with financial resources, but also with our know-how in imaging and image analysis” explains Gerrit Schulte, Head of ZEISS Ventures.

“Companies should do more than make money, they should make people excited about the future”, says Prof Steven Lee (CEO), “Cellular biology has been traditionally described by 3 key pillars: genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics. We would argue there’s a fourth, and that’s how things are organized in 3D space. This is why ZOMP’s three cofounders are extremely excited to be working with ZEISS, creating the instruments that will allow our customers to see inside cells at the population scale.

Dr Kevin O’Holleran, ZOMP’s CTO explains why the partnership with ZEISS is such an excellent fit. “I’ve always been impressed by the quality of ZEISS’s high-end imaging products and how easy they are to use. With ZOMP’s cutting-edge imaging flow cytometry technology and ZEISS’s experience in bioimaging product development we quickly found that ZEISS and ZOMP make an excellent match. We’re very excited about this partnership and look forward to developing our technology as part of ZEISS Ventures portfolio.

Finally, cofounder and CCO Gillies Kleboe explains the companies unusual name “We wanted a name that could eventually become a verb, like ‘Google’ or ‘Shazam.’ Interestingly, ZOMP is also the name of a colour which turns out to be very similar to the traditional Cambridge Blue, it was too good not to use!” In a few years time researchers who need complex imaging of a high quantity of cells might be saying: “Just ZOMP it!”

PRESS CONTACT

Jörg Nitschke

Head of Corporate Brand and Communications
ZEISS Group

About ZEISS

ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. In the previous fiscal year, the ZEISS Group generated annual revenue totaling 8.8 billion euros in its four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology and Consumer Markets (status: 30 September 2022).

For its customers, ZEISS develops, produces and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microscopy solutions for the life sciences and materials research, and medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. The name ZEISS is also synonymous with the world’s leading lithography optics, which are used by the chip industry to manufacture semiconductor components. There is global demand for trendsetting ZEISS brand products such as eyeglass lenses, camera lenses and binoculars.

With a portfolio aligned with future growth areas like digitalization, healthcare and Smart Production and a strong brand, ZEISS is shaping the future of technology and constantly advancing the world of optics and related fields with its solutions. The company’s significant, sustainable investments in research and development lay the foundation for the success and continued expansion of ZEISS’ technology and market leadership. ZEISS invests 13 percent of its revenue in research and development – this high level of expenditure has a long tradition at ZEISS and is also an investment in the future.

With over 38,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in almost 50 countries with around 30 production sites, 60 sales and service companies and 27 research and development facilities (status: 30 September 2022). Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science, is the sole owner of the holding company, Carl Zeiss AG.

Further information at www.zeiss.com

About ZOMP
ZOMP, is a spinout from the university of Cambridge, aiming to build the world’s first 3D imaging flow cytometer.
Learn more at www.zomp.one and follow the company on LinkedIn.

 

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