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Biotechnology / Funding / Health / Investing / Venture capital

Personal Genome Diagnostics raises $103M to take cancer test kits global

The Series C will enable commercial expansion following the Canton-based company's FDA approval for its product last year.

Personal Genome Diagnostics HQ in Canton. (Courtesy photo)

Canton-based Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx) raised $103 million in a Series C round, providing new growth capital after the cancer genomics company received FDA approval for its diagnostic kit product last year.

The financing was led by Cowen Healthcare Investments and included participation from Northpond Ventures, Vensana Capital, Rock Springs Capital, Kern Capital, Sands Capital, PFM Health Sciences, Windham Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Innovatus Capital Partners and Catalio Capital Management.

Founded in 2010 by a group of Johns Hopkins cancer scientists, PGDx creates products that offer gene-level analysis of cancerous tumors. The company received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year to market its kit product, called elio tissue complete. Its technology combines chemistry performed on a DNA sample and software that automates the data analysis process. In practice, it’s designed so that the advanced level of analysis can be available in onsite labs at a hospital or clinic. Company leaders have talked about how this could “democratize” access to the technology, which can help oncologists and patients make decisions about treatment. In January, the company said patients can receive Medicare coverage for this product.

The company also added partnerships with Almac Diagnostic Services to make its products available for clinical trials and with Qiagen for distribution of its kits.

Now, the company is planning to hire for its commercial and operations teams as it looks to grow availability of the tests and build on these partnerships, as well as expand its portfolio of products.

“As an organization, we remain committed to enabling the highest quality personalized molecular diagnostics performed locally, from academic medical centers to community hospitals in the United States and in countries around the world,” said PGDx CEO Megan Bailey in a statement. “With this funding, we are confident PGDx will be able to maintain a leading position in the field of decentralized tumor profiling, a cornerstone of the future of precision oncology.”

PGDx elio complete kits. (Courtesy photo)

As it looks to make local-level testing available around the world, PGDx has also made local economic impact in Baltimore: Its growth has shown how discoveries out of the renowned research labs at Johns Hopkins can birth a company that brings talent and investment to the city.

The latest funding round shows interest from a host of investors. Cowen Healthcare Investments Managing Partner Kevin Raidy and Northpond Ventures Principal Lily Li will join the company’s board.

“PGDx’s vision of enabling access to precision medicine for millions more patients, and their demonstrated ability to execute commercially gives us a great deal of confidence in the company’s future,” Raidy said in a statement.

It also shows further commitment from investors like Catalio Capital Management, the Baltimore-based biomedical investment firm that invested in prior funding rounds as well as the Series C.

“We have been backing PGDx from the very beginning, and continue to do so, as we are firm believers in the company’s comprehensive genomic profiling technology,” said Catalio cofounder and managing partner George Petrocheilos. “We also are really excited to see a local Catalio portfolio company raising a successful round at over $100 million. This will enable PGDx to hire more people locally in a variety of emerging fields.”

The round continues a hot streak for venture investing in Baltimore to start the year. With this deal, investors have already led three megarounds — or VC rounds over $100 million — for Baltimore companies in 2021. Baltimore-based cancer testing company Delfi Diagnostics, where PGDx cofounder Victor Velculescu is CEO, raised $100 million, and Columbia-based email delivery company SparkPost raised $180 million earlier this month.

Companies: Catalio Capital Management

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