Crescendo Bioscience deploys $28M Series D to market RA Dx biomarker test

Crescendo wants to boost commercialization of its RA blood test--courtesy of Crescendo Bioscience.

With a $28 million Series D venture round now in place, Crescendo Bioscience is focusing on boosting commercialization of its rheumatoid arthritis blood test--a novel diagnostic that gives a precise snapshot of the disease's activity levels by measuring multiple biomarkers.

Clinicians use Vectra DA to measure 12 different RA-related immune, endothelial, bone, cartilage and metabolic biomarkers, the company explains. Once obtained, the test integrates serum concentrations of those biomarkers into a special algorithm that then assigns a score between 1 and 100, reflecting how active the disease is.

"It provides a universal language as a starting point to assess how a patient is doing at a given point and time," Crescendo president and CEO William Hagstrom told FierceMedicalDevices.

With funding in hand, Crescendo plans to hire 10 additional sales representatives who will help support the company's 20-person sales force in expanding national marketing efforts. The money will also help expand laboratory capacity and fuel the company's robotics-related manufacturing scale-up. About 500 rheumatologists--representing 15% of the entire U.S. field--already use the test. But Hagstrom is hoping to raise that number substantially. Private insurers cover Vectra DA but Crescendo is also negotiating with Medicare and other private payers to broaden coverage.

Interviewed during the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Hagstrom said he's also looking to expand strategic relationships with payers that cover other autoimmune diseases--for which Vectra DA could also be useful in helping to bring those conditions to remission.

"These are diseases," he said, "where the degree of disease control is limited."

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