Sera Prognostics raises $36M to market its blood test that predicts risk of premature birth

Sera’s blood test assesses preterm birth risk as early as 19 weeks to allow for earlier interventions to prolong gestation and help improve the health of the baby. (Pixelistanbul/Getty)

Sera Prognostics, maker of a prenatal blood test to help predict the risk of premature births, has raised $36 million in venture capital funding to help commercialize its offering.

The Salt Lake City-based company’s series D round was led by Blue Ox Healthcare Partners, with additional, returning investments from diagnostic testing giant LabCorp, as well as Domain Associates, InterWest Partners, Catalyst Health Ventures and Chione.

“Preterm birth—the leading cause of infant mortality—is an unaddressed global crisis, accounting for over $30 billion in excess annual spending in the U.S. alone,” Sera’s chairman and CEO, Gregory Critchfield, M.D., said in a statement. The round’s proceeds will also help fund work in gauging the test’s real-world impacts, both clinically and economically.

Sera’s PreTRM test uses blood-based biomarkers to assess a pregnant woman’s risk of spontaneous, preterm birth involving a single child at as early as 19 weeks, including in women who may not have other symptoms.

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This can allow for earlier interventions designed to prolong gestation and help improve the health of the baby, according to the company.

“As a result, we believe PreTRM will be the go-to solution for commercial plans, Medicaid programs, employers and risk-based providers seeking to effectively manage the clinical and economic epidemic of preterm birth,” said Blue Ox Managing Partner Charles Kennedy, M.D.