PGDx to Advance Test Development with $75M in Series B Financing

January 4, 2018
PGDx to Advance Test Development with $75M in Series B Financing
Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc. (PGDx) has raised $75 million in Series B financing, with proceeds intended to advance the company’s development of tissue-based and liquid biopsy technologies and products for cancer genomics. [Source: iStock/©dmbaker]

Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc. (PGDx) said today it has raised $75 million in Series B financing, with proceeds intended to advance the company’s development of tissue-based and liquid biopsy technologies and products for cancer genomics.

The financing was co-led by new investor Bristol-Myers Squibb—one of PGDx’s earliest pharma customers—and existing investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA).

“PGDx is a pioneer in cancer genome testing, and we are excited to become a strategic investor as they broaden their focus to develop and market IVD tests and seek to make tumor profiling more accessible to patients,” Paul Biondi, svp and head of business development for BMS, said in a statement.

Other participating new and existing investors included Inova Strategic Investments, Co-win Healthcare Fund, Helsinn Investment Fund, Windham Venture Partners, Maryland Venture Fund—overseen since 2015 by the state-created TEDCO—and undisclosed investors.

PGDx was established in 2010 by two researchers from Johns Hopkins University, Luis Diaz, M.D., and Victor Velculescu, M.D., Ph.D., with the goal of developing in vitro diagnostic (IVD) genome tests designed to help physicians tailor personalized cancer treatments.

“Proceeds from this financing will support our product development strategy designed to secure global regulatory approvals of tissue and liquid biopsy-based IVD cancer tests, as we also build the commercial engine to deliver our tests to clinical laboratories worldwide,” PGDx CEO Douglas Ward added.

That commercial engine, according to Baltimore-based PGDx, will include an expansion designed to accommodate rapid growth. The company said it will move into a nearby facility that will more than triple its overall space and provide room for multiple new laboratories and workspaces.

The company’s tissue tests include CancerSELECT™ R 125, designed to analyze the coding regions of 117 genes and selected regions of 41 genes; CancerXOME™-R, designed to capture and analyze the coding regions of >20,000 genes; RNAcomplete™-R, which uses next-generation sequencing (NGS) to analyze the presence and quantity of gene transcripts corresponding to >34,000 genes and >84,000 transcript isoforms; and ImmunoSELECT™-R, which combines CancerXOME™-R with in silico neoantigen prediction to analyze the coding regions of >20,000 genes, identifying and prioritizing the most relevant mutation-derived neoantigens.

PGDx has also developed a pair of liquid biopsy tests. One is MetDETECT™-R, created to evaluate the METtyrosine kinase receptor locus and surrounding regions using NGS at 2,000x coverage to identify mutant alleles for prediction of therapeutic response. The other is PlasmaSELECT™-R 64, which is intended to evaluate a targeted panel of 64 well-characterized cancer genes in circulating tumor DNA for genetic alterations in cancer, eliminating the need for biopsy or tumor tissue.

Last year PGDx won a contract from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide PlasmaSELECT™ 64 to advanced cancer patients being treated at VA facilities.

PlasmaSELECT™-R may also be used to evaluate sub-clonal mutations in tumor tissue, when available, according to PGDx. 

PGDx offerings also include a suite of cancer genome analyses services designed to identify alterations in any tumor of interest. The company has also established companion diagnostics collaborations with drug developers