Financing Will Support Pre-Commercialization Efforts for Foundation Medicine’s Comprehensive Cancer Diagnostic Test
CAMBRIDGE, MA — October 18, 2011 – Foundation Medicine, Inc., a cancer diagnostics company that aims to bring comprehensive cancer genome analysis to routine care, today announced that the company has closed an expanded Series A financing, bringing the total raised in the round to $33.5 million. In addition to founding investor Third Rock Ventures, this financing includes new investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and Google Ventures. In conjunction with the financing, Brook Byers, partner, KPCB, and Krishna Yeshwant, M.D., partner, Google Ventures, will join Foundation Medicine’s board of directors.
“We have been extremely pleased by the strong interest Foundation Medicine has received from the investment community over the past year, and we are delighted to welcome KPCB and Google Ventures to the Foundation Medicine team, as well as Brook and Krishna to the board,” commented Michael J. Pellini, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Foundation Medicine. “KPCB and Google Ventures bring diverse industry-leading expertise that will help us continue our advance toward a national commercial launch of our cancer diagnostic test in 2012. KPCB has a tremendous track record for building valued diagnostic companies, and they bring a thorough understanding of the regulatory and reimbursement components of our business. Google Ventures brings deep insights into the areas of informatics, storage and user interface, as well as strong knowledge on how to work with large amounts of data to leverage and build a scalable business. We are continuing to build upon the momentum achieved through our collaborations with Novartis and Celgene announced earlier this year, and we have leveraged our strong financial position to support CLIA certification in the fourth quarter of this year followed by a successful commercial launch.”
Foundation Medicine has developed a comprehensive cancer diagnostic test that will use next-generation sequencing (NGS) to analyze routine clinical specimens (i.e., small amounts of formalin fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor tissue) for molecular alterations in more than 200 cancer-related genes. The test will be optimized for clinical-grade analysis of tumor tissues, overcoming multiple complexities (such as purity, ploidy, and clonality) inherent to tumor genomes. The company is working to translate this capability into clinically relevant tests for pathologists and oncologists.
Test results will be reported through a secure, interactive website linking genomic data to a structured knowledge base of relevant, publicly available scientific and medical information. Patients whose cancers have specific genetic alterations are often very difficult to recruit for clinical trials, so the company also aims to provide information on relevant clinical trials through its website. By combining genomic data and scientific and medical information in an easy-to-use format, Foundation Medicine’s test results can serve as a helpful decision-support tool for physicians to recommend cancer treatment approaches tailored to each patient’s molecular subtype.
“Foundation Medicine is an emerging leader in the field of molecular diagnostics and clinical next-generation sequencing,” said Brook Byers. “We believe the company has the potential to truly enable personalized medicine by supporting clinical decision making to improve cancer patient care. The founding advisors are world leaders in cancer genomics, cancer biology, clinical oncology and information sciences, and the company is led by a management team with a track record in building successful organizations focused on delivering innovations in the life sciences to benefit as many patients as possible. This blend of scientific and business leadership positions the company well to bring cancer genomics into the routine practice of medicine.”“We see a significant market opportunity for Foundation Medicine’s cancer diagnostic test. Foundation Medicine is proactively addressing the growing need for physicians to assimilate and make decisions on large amounts of complex data in an intuitive and accurate manner,” said Krishna Yeshwant. “We look forward to partnering closely with the Foundation Medicine team as the company develops their test, which will ultimately contribute to improved patient healthcare.”