Bristol-Myers Jumps in on Personal Genome Diagnostics' $75M Funding Round
Thursday, January 4, 2018
BALTIMORE, Jan. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx) today announced a $75 million Series B financing co-led by new investor Bristol-Myers Squibb and existing investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Other new and existing investors including Inova Strategic Investments, Co-win Healthcare Fund, Helsinn Investment Fund, Windham Venture Partners, Maryland Venture Fund and undisclosed investors participated in the financing. The new funding will be used to support PGDx's strategic initiative to bring regulated in vitro diagnostic (IVD) genome testing to cancer patients and their physicians worldwide to help tailor treatments according to the specific characteristics of each patient's cancer. PGDx is a leader in the development of tissue-based and liquid biopsy technologies and products for cancer genomics.
Paul Biondi, Senior Vice President, Head of Business Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb, commented, "We are leveraging translational medicine and data analytics internally and through important partnerships to understand how we can deliver the right medicine to the right patient at the right time to achieve the best outcome. PGDx is a pioneer in cancer genome testing, and we are excited to become a strategic investor as they broaden their focus to develop and market IVD tests and seek to make tumor profiling more accessible to patients."
PGDx Board Member and NEA Partner Justin Klein, MD, JD, noted, "We are proud to have led the first institutional round for PGDx. Rapid advances in immuno-oncology, targeted agents, and combination cancer therapies are heightening the importance of tumor genome testing that enables treatments to be targeted to those patients most likely to benefit. PGDx has established itself as a leader in the clinical application of cancer genomics, and we enthusiastically support the company's mission to expand access to its technology through IVD tests that will be widely available to patients regardless of where they live or are treated."
"PGDx is excited to announce this important next step in our effort to empower the fight against cancer," said Douglas Ward, Chief Executive Officer of Personal Genome Diagnostics. "PGDx was established to further our founders' work at the forefront of uncovering the key genomic drivers of clinical response, such as the selection of immune checkpoint inhibitors based on microsatellite instability and tumor mutation burden. We believe that tailoring therapies to these drivers of response is best accomplished by making testing be run by local laboratories. Proceeds from this financing will support our product development strategy designed to secure global regulatory approvals of tissue and liquid biopsy-based IVD cancer tests, as we available where patients are treated, and we aim to achieve this is by providing regulated IVD tests that can also build the commercial engine to deliver our tests to clinical laboratories worldwide."
Mr. Ward continued, "Bristol-Myers Squibb, one of our earliest pharmaceutical customers, has demonstrated a strong commitment to translational medicine and its integration with their broad oncology portfolio. We are delighted that they have chosen to co-lead this financing. PGDx remains committed to providing advanced genomic tools to cancer researchers and drug developers, as we broaden our focus to include the IVD tests needed to realize the full potential of the new cancer therapies."
Headquartered in Baltimore, PGDx is one of the premier life sciences companies in the region. It currently occupies a historic waterfront facility in the Inner Harbor district. To accommodate its rapid growth, the company is expanding into a nearby facility that more than triples its overall space and provides room for multiple new laboratories and workspaces.
PGDx has expertise in cancer genome analysis ranging from sample preparation and sequencing to data interpretation and analysis. The company specializes in high-throughput next-generation sequencing and proprietary algorithms to identify alterations in complex cancer genomics and has developed novel technologies for non-invasive approaches to cancer. PGDx is also developing and commercializing a portfolio of tissue and liquid biopsy IVD cancer tests that will be clinically validated and regulated, enabling worldwide access to PGDx technology.