Exosome Raises Second Round Funding, Close to Launching Cancer Tests

Exosome Diagnostics has continued on its capital raising roll, bringing in another $17.6 million in financing, and its series B total to $44.7 million.

The latest round was funded by Forbion Capital Partners, NGN Capital, Arcus Ventures, Tiger Management and CD Ventures. The company said it would use the money to launch later this year three "liquid biopsy" molecular tests, two for lung cancer and one for prostate cancer. The lung cancer tests would focus on the detection of the ALK and T790M mutations and help focus on the appropriate targeted therapies for care. The prostate test will determine if patients are suffering from the "high-grade," or more aggressive, form of cancer. It will also launch a solid tumor panel that will focus on identifying 26 specific genes in colon, breast and lung cancers. Exosome expects to launch a next generation sequencing platform in 2016 and another molecular test for neurodegenerative conditions.

"It well positions us to successfully transition to a commercial-stage company that will deliver breakthrough cancer diagnostics to dramatically enhance physicians’ ability to make informed treatment decisions based on comprehensive, real-time molecular insights," said Thomas McLain, chief executive officer of Exosome Diagnostics, in a statement. The company opened a CLIA-certified laboratory in mid-August. In January, it entered into a collaboration with the California-based Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation to speed up the development of blood-based lung cancer tests.

Recent data from Exosome’s ExoDx liquid biopsy test for the ALK gene indicated a 88 percent sensitivity rate and a 100 percent specificity rate. Its assay for solid tumors indicated a 72.7 percent concordance rate for EGFR mutations.

Takeaway: Exosome Diagnostics is gearing up both financial and technologically to roll out a variety of molecular diagnostic tests.

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