NEA backs cancer genome Dx startup Personal Genome in $21M+ Series A

Another startup is emphatically advancing into the fray to elicit and apply genomic data as a guide for cancer diagnoses and treatment. Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx) has raised a $21.4 million Series A round to expand its commercial genomic oncology testing service.

The cash infusion will go in part to expand its operations, including more than doubling the size of its Baltimore-based facility complete with a CLIA-approved laboratory by moving into a 25,000 square space next year. The company currently more than 60 employees.

New Enterprise Associates led the financing with participation by other investors including Windham Venture Partners and Nanjing Kaiyuan Growth Capital Investments.

NEA partner Dr. Justin Klein

"PGDx is one of the most exciting healthcare opportunities we've seen in the oncology diagnostics space, by combining best-in-class science and clinical insight with an innovative business model," said NEA partner Dr. Justin Klein in a statement. He will join the PGDx board as part of the financing.

The startup currently has 63 employees who occupy an 11,000-square-foot historic facility on the waterfront in Baltimore's vibrant inner harbor neighborhood. This space houses PGDx's laboratories, bioinformatic and commercial activities. To accommodate its rapid growth, the company plans to expand into a 25,000-square-foot nearby facility in 2016.

Founded in 2010 by Johns Hopkins University cancer researchers, PGDx was bootstrapped into 2014 when it raised $2.8 million in seed capital to scale its liquid biopsy and tissue sequencing technology. The company lays claim to the most comprehensive oncology cancer genomic analysis that includes whole genome sequencing, pan-cancer panels, targeted panels and single gene analysis in tissue and liquid biopsies, as well as custom approaches for target discovery and companion diagnostics.

Its bioinformatics platform brings together its tissue and liquid biopsy sequencing technologies to offer any laboratory that has a next-gen sequencer access to a wide range of genomic oncology testing.

Earlier this year, PGDx rolled out tests including LungSelect, a liquid biopsy test to noninvasively identify lung cancer mutations, and Immunoselect-R, which uses whole exome analysis combined with predictive bioinformatics to identify the best immune-oncology therapeutic options for an cancer individual patient.

"We have been impressed by the company's ability to grow in this highly competitive field with limited external funding, and are optimistic that this new infusion of capital will enable PGDx to expand their novel molecular diagnostic approaches to empower cancer patients and their doctors to achieve better outcomes," added Klein.

- here is the announcement