Biodesix grabbed $8.3 million in Series E financing to help boost sales and marketing efforts for its personalized medicine-focused lung cancer test.
Execs at the Colorado company term the new financing as a preferred equity round pieced together with $4.3 million in new funds and $4 million from the conversion of a convertible note. All of the cash came from Biodesix's existing shareholders, the company said. Last April, Biodesix pulled in $8.8 million in a follow-on sale of Series D preferred shares, with the money targeted for similar purposes as well as additional research.
VeriStrat is the center of Biodesix's attention, a serum protein test designed to help guide whether patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer should turn to erlotinib (Tarceva, by Roche/Astellas) or single-agent chemotherapy. Biodesix processes the test in its CLIA-certified laboratory and generates results in under 72 hours. While Biodesix hasn't offered specifics, it also works with biotechnology and pharmaceutical company partners to develop companion diagnostics. The VeriStrat test technology has broad uses for earlier disease detection and to help target the best, most precise treatment, Biodesix said.
In a statement, CEO David Brunel said that the new funding is key to helping the company "effectively deliver game-changing diagnostics to guide physician decisions and improve patient outcomes."
Over the summer, Biodesix touted some impressive Phase III trial results showing that VeriStrat could successfully predict outcomes for the chemotherapy or erlotinib options as second-line lung cancer treatments.
The test represents a practical use of a diagnostic test to shape a more personalized cancer treatment unique to the individual patient. On the one hand, it identifies patients who could benefit from erlotinib, an EGFR-TKI drug, who don't have a known EGFR mutation or whose EGFR mutation status isn't known. But VeriStrat can also screen for patients who won't gain any benefit from the drug. At that point, they're directed more quickly to chemotherapy. In other words, the test works to more quickly narrow and target treatment options for certain patients.
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