Israeli bladder cancer Dx outfit raises $5M in financing

Israeli bladder cancer testing outfit Nucleix raked in more than $5 million in a funding round led by OrbiMed Advisors to develop its test for the early detection of bladder cancer.

The company had raised $3 million prior to the most recent round, primarily from private investors, Globes reports. One of the company's private investors, Zohar Zisapel, also participated in the latest funding round.

Nucleix's bladder cancer diagnostic uses epigenetics, or tiny changes in a cell's DNA, to identify cancer cells before medical symptoms appear. Combinations of 15 epigenetic indicators have already been discovered that can distinguish a cancerous cell from a healthy one, Nucleix founder Elon Ganor told Globes. Unlike more invasive procedures, the company's bladder cancer test looks at bladder cells found in a urine sample. Nucleix's product also holds potential for testing for other malignancies such as colon, lung and prostate cancers.

"The scientific principles on the basis of which Nucleix's technology was developed, and the preliminary result of the bladder cancer screening, are promising. We are happy to join as investors, and look forward to joint work to advance this important field," OrbiMed Managing Director and Nucleix board member Erez Chimovits told Globes.

Nucleix is not the only diagnostic outfit zeroing in on bladder cancer biomarkers. In January, Metabolon wrapped up a $15 million round of late-stage financing to develop a test for bladder cancer recurrence.

Last year, U.K. researchers unveiled a sensor-strapped device that could read urine odor to identify patients with bladder cancer. The research team collected 98 urine samples from men with bladder cancer and benign bladder problems, and treated them with a diagnostic agent. The device identified cancer with 96% accuracy, beating out traditional clinical techniques and opening the door for further research.

- read the Globes story

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