MedGenome said today it has completed a $30 million Series C financing, with the genomics research and diagnostics company directing proceeds toward its biomarker discovery programs and further development of its OncoPept™ suite of cancer immunotherapy biomarker solutions.
The financing will allow genomic and biopharma researchers in the U.S. and Europe to access MedGenome's research solutions and its genetic variant database for early drug discovery and target validation, the company said.
MedGenome says it has developed the world’s most diverse genetic database including the largest database of genetic variants from South Asians—who according to the company account for 20% of the world’s population but just 0.2% of global genetic databases. MedGenome operates two next-generation sequencing (NGS) labs in India, in Bangalore and Kochi (also known as Cochin), as well as a CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited sequencing lab in Foster City, CA, where it is headquartered.
The company has drawn its data from populations of people in India, where the company offers its proprietary diagnostics tests, as well as through research partnerships, and through its work as a co-founding member of GenomeAsia 100K, a non-profit consortium created to sequence and analyze 100,000 genomes from Asians, with the goal of advancing precision medicine for Asian populations.
“Our work in helping researchers discover disease biomarkers—thanks in large part to our unparalleled collection of genotype and phenotype information across India—gives us confidence in our unique approach. The next step: drug target validation centers to bring treatments and cures to market faster,” Sam Santhosh, MedGenome’s founder, chairman and global CEO, said in a statement.
In March, MedGenome launched OncoTrack, a liquid biopsy test designed to detect cancer by analyzing cell-free DNA isolated from patients’ blood. Oncotrack screens for the presence of oncogenic driver mutations in four key genes: EGFR, KRAS, NRAS and BRAF.
Also offered by the company is OncoPept, a genomics platform designed to advance development of cancer immunotherapies. The suite includes three products:
- OncoPept TUME™, designed to provide immune phenotyping of the tumor microenvironment and analyses potenial biomarkers of response.
- OncoPept VAC™, designed to identify candidate vaccines by characterizing tumor mutanomes.
- OncoPept TOPE™, database of neo-antigens and neo-epitopes derived from genetic alterations available in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data. MedGenome is offering open access
Two additional OncoPept products will be available “soon,” MedGenome states on its website— OncoPept TCR™, which offers an NGS-based NGS based T-cell receptor repertoire analysis toward diagnosing T-cell related pathologies; and OncoPept COMBI™, which will offer molecular insights toward combining cancer immunotherapies.
Sequoia India and Sofina led the financing, which included participation by Zodius Capital; Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder and former CEO of Infosys; and former Cognizant CEO Lakshmi Narayanan.
MedGenome has raised a total $54 million in three rounds since it was incubated in 2012 from SciGenom Labs in Kochi. The company previously raised $20 million in Series B financing from Sequoia Capital in 2015.