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How the early investment could help boost precision cancer therapies.
Images have been resized. Courtesy of Contextual Genomics.
Contextual Genomics, a start-up that aims to strengthen precision medicine in the fight against cancer, has received a $12 million boost from an overseas investor. The influx of cash is poised to expand the global distribution and development of technologies that helps physicians design customized treatments for patients with cancer, according to an announcement this week.
Contextual Genomics, founded in 2012 and headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, got the money from PacBridge Capital Partners, an investment group rooted in Hong Kong. As part of the deal, PacBridge’s James Lumsdaine and Sue Paish, the former head of LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services, will join Contextual Genomics’ board of directors, according to the companies.
Both parties said the deal could help the start-up take its promising genomic technologies to the next level, a potential boon for oncologists and their patients.
“We are very excited to partner with PacBridge Capital Partners,” said Chris Wagner, executive chairman of Contextual Genomics. “Their support of the company at this time of growth and expansion is an important validation of the quality of our team and the importance of the products we are developing.”
Among those products is FIND IT, a “proprietary molecular hotspot assay that screens for more than 140 somatic genome alterations found in solid tumor cancers to identify optimal therapeutic treatments and recognize acquired drug-resistant mutations,” according to the organization. What that means: The tool helps doctors pinpoint precision therapies. The company’s cloud-based analysis engine supports the technology, aiming to finger prognostic and diagnostic implications. FIND IT is slated to see greater distribution thanks to the monetary windfall.
Then there is FOLLOW IT, a mutation detection assay that nails down cell-free circulating tumor DNA in plasma, according to Contextual Genomics. This tech remains in development, though it is expected to help follow disease progression in patients with widespread metastatic disease.
“Contextual Genomics has a world-class leadership team who have developed a platform that makes the benefits of computational cancer genomics available to the mass market,” Sheldon Trainor, founder of PacBridge, added. “Their products and research have the potential to significantly improve the efficacy of cancer treatment for many patients around the world.”