UPDATED: Biodesix snags $8.8M to boost lung cancer Dx commercial push

Biodesix reeled in another $8.8 million in financing toward expanding sales and marketing for VeriStrat, its molecular diagnostic blood test to help guide treatment for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. The new funding will also propel further research work involving the technology.

The Colorado company isn't saying much about who is behind the new follow-on sale of its Series D preferred shares, other than mentioning in its funding announcement that the investors are "existing shareholders of the company."

CEO David Brunel told FierceMedicalDevices in an emailed statement that the money will, in part, fund a number of studies, including the completion of its Phase III study using VeriStrat in second-line non-small cell lung cancer, results from which will be released in the second quarter.

An immediate focus is also on gaining coverage and pricing from the CMS, and plans call for expanding field sales operations later this year, he said, adding that "significant advances in [the company's] proprietary discovery platform are being rolled out over the course of the year, and the company expects to announce at least one new product during 2013."

In July 2011, Biodesix announced it had closed on its initial $20 million Series D financing. At the time, the new cash infusion went toward commercialization for VeriStrat, as well as collaborative projects with a number of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies seeking to develop companion diagnostics. This time, the money is meant to also help fuel ongoing development of the company's broader technology platform.

VeriStrat is a serum protein test designed to help oncologists decide whether erlotinib or single-agent chemotherapy will work better for advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients. The company maintains a CLIA-certified laboratory to process the test, which generates results in under 72 hours. The company also sees VeriStrat as potentially working for breast, head, neck and colorectal cancer tumors. Biodesix, which launched in 2005, focuses on developing both clinical and companion diagnostic tests.

- read the release

Editor's Note: This story was updated to include comments from CEO David Brunel.

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