Personalis raises $33M to scale up pharma-facing genomics operation


Personalis has returned to the financing font ahead of a planned scaling up of its operations. The Menlo Park, CA-based genome sequencing and interpretation company has reported interest from pharma companies in its cancer services, a trend that helped persuade investors to give it $33 million in a Series C round.

Existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and Abingworth both contributed to the Series C round, which takes the total invested in Personalis up to $75 million. The earlier $22 million Series B and $20 million Series A rounds--which closed in October 2013 and August 2011, respectively--gave Personalis the cash to develop its ACE sequencing and analysis platform. Personalis has pitched the platform at preclinical and clinical stage pharma development teams, as well as at physicians.

Personalis CEO John West singled out pharma clients in his comments about the state of the business. "We have had a very positive response to our new offerings in cancer genomics, especially from pharmaceutical customers," West said in a statement. The plan now is to continue the scaling up of operations that has been underway for several years. When Personalis closed its Series B round, the goal was to establish sequencing and computational assets to handle projects of over 10,000 samples.

With Personalis now working with clients in 11 countries--including 5 in Asia--the next goal is to build the capacity to meet rising demand while holding off genomics services upstarts.

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- check out GenomeWeb's take (reg. req.)