Freenome draws $160M to support its 'multiomics' cancer blood test programs

Red blood cells
Freenome’s platform searches for multiple biological signals from a single blood draw, integrating assays for cell-free DNA, methylation and immune system-derived proteins. (Pixabay)

Former FierceMedTech Fierce 15 winner Freenome has raised $160 million for its blood-based “multiomics” tests for the early detection of cancer. 

The proceeds will help fund a study to validate its platform, and support plans to submit its test for colorectal cancer for a parallel review by the FDA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

Additionally, the series B money—which brings the South San Francisco-based company’s total financing up to $238 million—will help expand its laboratory infrastructure and fuel other development activities.  

The round was led by RA Capital Management and Polaris Partners, who were joined by new backers including Perceptive Advisors, Roche Venture Fund, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and the American Cancer Society’s BrightEdge Ventures, as well as funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates.

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Previous investors also participated: namely Andreessen Horowitz, GV, Data Collective Venture Capital, Section 32, and Verily Life Sciences, which helped design and build Freenome’s lab space. 

“Since our founding in 2014, we have been focused on building a multi-disciplinary team to achieve our vision of a future where cancer mortality is significantly reduced through early detection matched with the right treatment informed by our blood test,” Freenome CEO Gabe Otte said in a statement.

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“This funding will allow us to execute the necessary validation study for approval and reimbursement coverage of our colorectal cancer screening test, as well as expand our platform to other forms of cancer or immune-driven disease areas in the future,” Otte added.

Freenome’s platform searches for multiple biological signals from a single blood draw, integrating assays for cell-free DNA, methylation and proteins, while using AI and machine learning techniques to help identify the molecular signatures of different subtypes of cancer.

Last October, the company’s poster presentation at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology included the first readout from a study analyzing cell-free DNA in samples taken from patients with early-stage colorectal cancer. At the time, the test was able to detect the disease with 82% sensitivity and 85% specificity.

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