OncoDNA has raised €7.7 million ($8.6 million) to develop IT platforms to support its oncology testing operation. The concerted push into IT builds on the creation of OncoSHARE, a platform OncoDNA set up to house data generated by its cancer tests and provide oncologists with a way to discuss cases.
Gosselies, Belgium-based OncoDNA has worked on OncoSHARE over the past few years, resulting in it reportedly growing into a community of 10,000 oncologists, patients and relatives. The platform has multiple functions, but at its core it is a way for OncoDNA to share test results with oncologists. OncoDEEP and OncoTRACE, the tests, respectively entail DNA sequencing of solid tumors and monitoring of cell‐free circulating tumor DNA.
Sofinim--an affiliate of Ackermans & van Haaren--Société Régionale d'Investissement de Wallonie, CPH and Inventures have all been persuaded of the potential of the tests. Ackermans & van Haaren owns 15% of the company following the round. The four financiers joined with existing investors BIO.be, Invest4OncoDNA, Sambrinvest and Vinsovier to give OncoDNA the cash it needs to execute the next phase of its strategy.
From an IT perspective, a plan to create a SaaS platform linked to OncoSHARE is the most notable use of the money. The first stage of the IT investment strategy will support the introduction of OncoKDM, a SaaS platform linked to OncoSHARE. OncoDNA teased the introduction of the platform in a release to disclose the financing.
“OncoKDM is a SaaS solution that allows very deep and comprehensive interpretation, including of DNA sequencing data, RNA and protein analyses, pathway visualization and drug recommendations. It’s platform independent, so users can connect on multiple types of devices such as those from Illumina, Life Technologies or Sequenom,” OncoDNA CEO Jean‐Pol Detiffe told FierceBiotechIT.
The system is currently being trialled at hospitals in Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg ahead of an anticipated full rollout at the start of next year. Detiffe thinks the utility of the platform will increase as OncoDNA scales up its operation.
“As our database grows, the interpretation of data becomes more and more powerful and we share that information with the community via OncoSHARE,” Detiffe said.
Efforts to increase test sales fit in with this plan. Some of the money will go toward global expansion of solid tumor sequencing and circulating tumor DNA monitoring services, plus a test that combines the two.
Securing reimbursement is a top priority. If OncoDNA can achieve this goal, it must then persuade doctors to use its tests. This process, which effectively means OncoDNA will need to sell its tests twice, has acted as a brake on growth in the use of other molecular oncology tests. With OncoDNA claiming it has partnered with 200 healthcare institutions in 50 countries, it will be hoping it has a platform that can support a relatively-fast rise.
“Thanks to these new financial resources, we will be able to expand globally, help more patients have access to our innovative solutions with the goal of reimbursement and be a key player in the fight against cancer,” Detiffe said in a statement.