DotLab has raised $10 million in series A funding to continue development of its personalized, non-invasive approach to diagnosing endometriosis—a difficult-to-spot condition that can cause women pelvic pain and infertility.
Current methods of diagnosis, such as biopsies and medical imaging, can be ineffective due to the chronic disease’s heterogeneity. Caused by growths of epithelial cells forming outside of the uterus, endometriosis presents most often in the ovaries and fallopian tubes, but can be found elsewhere in the pelvic region or in other parts of the body.
In addition, the disease’s broad range of symptoms can lead to a misdiagnosis as routine menstrual pain, potentially delaying effective treatment by years. While its exact prevalence is unknown, DotLab estimates endometriosis may affect 1 in 10 women worldwide, including as many as half of women with infertility, with many going undiagnosed.
To this end, DotLab says its liquid biopsy test can accurately detect disease-specific biomarkers for endometriosis, found in blood or saliva samples. The San Francisco-based company’s DotEndo test can also be repeated to track a patient’s response to therapy and recurrence over time.
The series A proceeds will be used to further the test’s clinical validation, being conducted with researchers at Yale University, and to help bring on new staff, the company said.
"The revolutionary technology behind DotLab's endometriosis test could improve the lives of the hundreds of millions of women affected by this debilitating disease which has been under-researched and deprioritized for too long," DotLab CEO Heather Bowerman said in a statement.
The venture capital round was led by CooperSurgical, a medical device unit of The Cooper Companies that focuses on women’s health, fertility and genomics. Other backers included Tiger Global Management, Luxor Capital Group and the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
"CooperSurgical brings significant operational resources and the opportunity to build upon partnerships with health systems to become a leading brand in women's health,” Bowerman said. “Our shared goal is to make DotLab's endometriosis test widely accessible."