Precipio grabs funding to grow cancer Dx services business with Yale connection

Precipio Diagnostics in Connecticut brought in $1.8 million in new funding to help advance its cancer diagnostics services business that relies on experts from Yale University to help interpret test results.

The company, launched in September 2011, works with researchers from the Yale School of Medicine to help evaluate patient samples and develop detailed pathology reports. Precipio also markets diagnostics technology from Yale-New Haven Hospital, including tumor-profiling services.

CEO Ilan Danieli told FierceDiagnostics that he sees his company's business model as an unconventional option in the diagnostics marketplace.

"I don't know of any other company that has done this," he told FierceDiagnostics. "Most of the attempts have been on the academic side themselves, but … most academic institutions are not set up to really compete on sales and marketing."

Precipio previously raised about $1.8 million, Danieli said. The startup began offering its pathology and diagnostic services approximately 18 months ago, according to the deal announcement, and has handled 800 patient diagnostic reports since. Connecticut Innovations, a quasi-public state authority, led the Series B round through its Eli Whitney Fund. But Ironwood Capital, Enhanced Capital, Kuzari Capital and individual investors also participated.

Danieli said that Precipio was heartened to have Connecticut state support as it gears up for business.

"My team and I are originally from New Jersey, and we moved to Connecticut to start the business. A lot of that is due to support from the state," he said. "It has been a very positive experience. The state of Connecticut has done a wonderful job of welcoming entrepreneurs into Connecticut and providing strong support to set up a business. They have been terrific."

While Precipio works with Yale researchers for now, the company envisions expanding its academic partnerships over time.

"Yale pathology does not work for me. They are first and foremost obligated to the [Yale] School of Medicine, teaching medicine, conducting research and other responsibilities," Danieli said. "I don't expect or ever want them to do full-time Precipio cases. That is important because the field of cancer diagnostics pathology is ever-changing, and our guys are up to speed with all the changes. At some point we will get to case volumes where they will be over capacity, and we will go to other academic institutions."

- read the release

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correctly reflect that Precipio raised $1.8 million in its new round.