Thrive flourishes, raises $257M to carry forward its cancer-seeking blood test

Thrive Earlier Detection has drawn a substantial $257 million in its second venture capital round to help push its multi-cancer blood test through clinical trials toward FDA approval.

The company hopes to establish its CancerSEEK test as part of a patient’s standard cancer workup. Earlier this year, Thrive presented an interventional study at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research showing its diagnostic could change real-world clinical practice.

It tested about 10,000 women with no history or signs of cancer, in cooperation with Geisinger and Johns Hopkins University, and found the test could more than double the number of cases detected compared to traditional diagnostics. CancerSEEK was able to identify tumors located in 10 different organs, with 65% discovered before the disease spread to other parts of the body.

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The Fierce MedTech Fierce 15 winner’s new series B round was co-led by returning investors Casdin Capital and Section 32 and brought on new backers including Bain Capital Life Sciences, Brown Advisory, Driehaus Capital Management, Intermountain Ventures, Janus Henderson Investors, Lux Capital, Moore Strategic Ventures, Perceptive Advisors, Rock Springs Capital and Sands Capital, plus funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates.

RELATED: With $110M and Johns Hopkins tech, Thrive aims to make early cancer screening routine

In addition, all participants from Thrive’s $110 million series A kickoff in May 2019 once again supported the company—namely Third Rock Ventures, Biomatics Capital, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, Invus, Exact Sciences, Cowin Venture, Camden Partners, Gamma 3 and others.

“With this financing, we are well-positioned to advance our test into a robust registrational trial and continue to work closely with key stakeholders to remove barriers to ensure timely access, including future reimbursement for CancerSEEK,” said CEO David Daly.

Since launching last year, Thrive has grown its headcount from 26 employees to over 100, and now it counts Casdin Capital founder and Chief Investment Officer Eli Casdin as a member of its board of directors. 

“In the collective search to bend the mortality curve on cancer, the disruptive potential of earlier detection has long been a promise,” Casdin said. “But now, in a real-world study of 10,000 individuals, Thrive’s blood test integrated with standard-of-care has delivered on this potential and shows the power of detecting cancers before they spread. While there is more work ahead, it is clear that the future has now arrived. I’m excited to join the board and help in my small way to usher in this new era.”