GSN raises $20M, changes name to Natera

Redwood, CA-based Gene Security Network has completed a $20 million financing round and changed its name to Natera. The round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, which was joined by Claremont Creek Ventures and Sequoia Capital. The proceeds from the funding will be used to develop and commercialize prenatal diagnostics for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions.

Natera's clinical trial for noninvasive detection of chromosomal anomalies is being funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted by the leaders in maternal-fetal medicine in the U.S., according to a company statement. CEO Matt Rabinowitz has said his company's test could replace invasive amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling tests that can raise the risk of miscarriages or deformities, the San Francisco Business Times reports.

The company has raised a combined $42 million of venture capital in its four publicly announced rounds, Xconomy notes. Google VP Marissa Mayer is among those who has participated in prior investment rounds.

John Steuart, managing director at Claremont Creek Ventures, has praised the company for its work. "We have been involved with Natera since its inception," he says in a statement. "With a steadfast focus on helping doctors give couples the best chance of having a healthy child, the company has successfully launched multiple products and has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. That is why we're very pleased to be part of this financing and look forward to seeing the company take the next step."

- see the Natera release
- read more from Xconomy
- get more from the San Francisco Business Times