Thrive Earlier Detection said today it has raised $257 million in Series B financing toward advancing its CancerSEEK liquid biopsy test
CancerSEEK is a a DNA- and protein-based liquid biopsy designed to detect cancer by analyzing eight tumor specific genomic mutations in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and cancer-associated protein biomarkers in plasma to identify abnormalities that are common across multiple cancers.
Thrive said its goal is to incorporate CancerSEEK into routine medical care, where it can detect more cancers at earlier stages.
In April, researchers from Thrive joined study collaborators from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Geisinger Health to publish “Feasibility of blood testing combined with PET-CT to screen for cancer and guide intervention” in Science. The study by researchers from Johns Hopkins and Geisinger Health reported results from 10,006 women between ages 65-75 without a prior cancer history who were screened via an early version of CancerSEEK developed in 2016.
The study, also known as DETECT-A (Detecting cancers Earlier Through Elective mutation-based blood Collection and Testing), showed that in 9,911 women who completed the study, incorporating CancerSEEK more than doubled the percentage of cancers—from 25% to 52%—detected in women who were diagnosed compared to screening through current standard-of-care tests alone.
“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,” Thrive CEO David J. Daly said in a statement
According to the study, 17 cancers (65%) detected by Thrive’s blood test were identified at an early-stage as local or regional disease, allowing for earlier intervention and, if indicated, surgery. Thrive’s blood test detected cancers across 10 different organs, including seven organs that do not have standard-of-care screening tools available.
The specificity and positive predictive value (PPV) of blood testing alone were 98.9% and 19.4%, respectively, and combined with Thrive’s test, the specificity and PPV increased to 99.6% and 28.3%. The Thrive blood test’s sensitivity was 27.1% across all cancers and 31.1% for seven cancers with no screening options—including lymphoma, appendix, uterine, thyroid, kidney, ovary and cancers arising from an unknown primary site. Thrive’s test plus standard-of-care testing had a combined sensitivity of 52.1%.
Thrive was launched in May 2019 with $110 million in Series A financing as the largest-ever investment by a licensee of a technology developed at Johns Hopkins University.
Thrive’s $257 million Series B financing was led by Casdin Capital—whose Chief Investment Officer and Founder Eli Casdin was appointed to Thrive’s board—and Section 32. Casdin currently serves on the board of Exact Sciences, a leader in the field of molecular screening for cancer.
Also participating in the financing round were new investors Bain Capital Life Sciences, Brown Advisory, Driehaus Capital Management, Intermountain Ventures, Janus Henderson Investors, Lux Capital, Moore Strategic Ventures, Perceptive Advisors, Rock Springs Capital, Sands Capital, funds, accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, and other undisclosed investors. All of Thrive’s Series A investors returned to participate in the Series B financing.
“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,” Casdin stated.