Invitae closes a $40M Series E to go global with genetic testing

Nearing its two-year birthday, Invitae announced the closing of a $40 million late-stage financing Tuesday--funds the San Francisco company says will allow it to expand its genetic test offering into global markets.

Investors in the Series E round include return backers Genomic Health ($GHDX) and Thomas McNerney & Partners. Genomic Health spun off Invitae in February 2012. Redmile Group, Genesys Capital and Casdin Capital are also named in the release, along with Invitae co-founder and CEO Randy Scott. Scott was formerly CEO of Genomic Health.

Unlike 23andMe and other direct-to-consumer genetic test players, Invitae is aiming at physicians. The company has said it hopes to produce a gene test covering more than 3,000 inherited conditions, costing less than $1,000 to administer.

That includes BRCA-related cancer diagnostic tests, a field that's rapidly become crowded since the U.S. Supreme Court opened it to competition over the summer.

Myriad Genetics ($MYGN), the dominant player in predictive cancer diagnostic tests focused on BRCA mutations, has aimed patent lawsuits at Invitae and five other upstart entrants--LabCorp ($LH), Quest Diagnostics ($DGX), BioReference Laboratories ($BRLI), Gene By Gene and Ambry Genetics.

"Invitae is making significant progress in expanding our genetic testing services and executing on our business plan. With the support of our new and existing investors, this financing will allow us to expand our offering of genetic tests and build on our commercial capabilities," Scott said in a statement. "This financing will help us to accelerate our plans to reinvent genetic testing by making it more affordable and accessible than ever before, and, ultimately, it will help us achieve our goal of transforming multi-use genetic testing into routine medical practice."

- read the press release

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