Veracyte nails $28M Series C

Veracyte can celebrate a big financial milestone, having completed the "final tranche" of its $28 million Series C round. The California molecular diagnostics outfit said it now begins an expanded commercial push for its lead thyroid cancer gene test.

One intriguing new investor: General Electric ($GE). The global conglomerate's GE Ventures arm contributed to the round, something noteworthy as GE continues to expand its own diagnostics-related offerings. Veracyte, which is based in San Francisco, said all previous investors also participated, including Domain Associates, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, TPG Biotech and Versant Ventures.

Veracyte's last financing round--a $28 million Series B--closed in 2010.

Execs will be focusing the money, in part, on advancing Veracyte's product pipeline. But the company's Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysis will be drawing immediate attention. Launched initially in 2011, the test uses a combined, specialized cytopathology assessment and a gene expression test to help determine if a thyroid nodule is benign or suspicious for cancer, Veracyte explains. The company is already off to a solid start for the test, which has Medicare and private insurance coverage. Sanofi/Genzyme also co-promotes the diagnostic in the U.S., giving it some major marketing mojo already.

In an era where healthcare products gain favor in the marketplace if they help reduce costs, Veracyte is looking at the big picture, trying to position itself as a company that fits the paradigm of offering quality care that can also be cost-effective. Afirma is designed to do its part by helping to reduce inconclusive test results for thyroid cancer, which can lead to unnecessary surgery. Veracyte now has its eyes on expanding that approach to other products.

"This additional capital will also support our investment in research and development of new products similarly designed to help patients avoid unnecessary invasive procedures, while reducing healthcare costs" Veracyte co-founder and CEO Bonnie Anderson said in a statement.

- read the release

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