Seattle start-up attracts early adopters of cancer drug tech

Presage Biosciences in Seattle reports that it is gaining some significant traction for its new approach to testing cancer drugs in mice. The Seattle-based biotech tells Xconomy that it has boosted its Series A to $4 million and inked contracts with two major pharma companies which want to explore the uses of investigative technology that was spawned at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Presage's technology revolves around the use of new needles that can simultaneously deliver five different cancer therapeutics to a mouse tumor, allowing investigators a close look at the effects of a new cancer drug alongside existing therapies or combo drugs. By being able to immediately compare responses, Presage believes it can help cancer drug developers make the right selections for clinical trials. Cancer is one of the hottest fields in biotechnology. And currently, only about one in 10 cancer drugs that enter the clinic make it to an approval.

Presage says its strategy is to work closely with a small number of key customers. "The strategy is not to carpet-bomb the whole pharmaceutical industry, but to form deep bonds with a small number of repeat customers," Nathan Caffo, the vice president of business development, tells Xconomy. "We want them to get addicted to it."

- see Presage's release
- here's the article from Xconomy