Baltimore’s Personal Genome Diagnostics Secures $103 Million in Financing
Cancer genomics company Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc. (PGDx) secured $103 million in a Series C financing round. Proceeds from the financial infusion will be used to expand the company’s tissue-based and liquid biopsy portfolio and its global commercial footprint to support growth.
PGDx Chief Executive Officer Megan Bailey, who was appointed to the position in April 2020, said the funding provides the company with the confidence it will be able to maintain a leading position in the field of decentralized tumor profiling, a cornerstone of the future of precision oncology. PGDx is developing a portfolio of tissue-based and liquid biopsy Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) products.
The added commercial and operational infrastructure that will result from the financing will enable broader access to and adoption of PGDx’s elio™ oncology products. PGDx elio™ tissue complete, the first FDA-cleared comprehensive genomic profiling kit, is used to identify alterations in the tumor and inform treatment decisions for patients with advanced solid tumors. It will also support the expansion of the company’s pharma and biotechnology partnerships to identify novel cancer biomarker targets and accelerate biomarker-driven therapy development.
“As we seek to impact cancer care globally, our plan is to invest and grow our commercial and operational functions that will support our decentralized comprehensive genomic profiling strategy and our pharma partnering efforts. We will also be investing in the expansion of our product portfolio, addressing patient needs across the cancer care continuum,” Bailey told BioBuzz. “With this funding, we are confident PGDx will be able to maintain a leading position in the field of decentralized tumor profiling, a cornerstone of the future of precision oncology.”
PGDx was established in 2014 by cancer genome sequencing pioneers and experts in liquid biopsy technologies from Johns Hopkins University. Looking back over her first year as CEO, Bailey said she was proud of what the PGDx team accomplished. 2020 was a key year for PGDx. Not only did it find a new CEO in Bailey, but the company was also awarded both FDA clearance and Medicare coverage for PGDx elio™. The clearance means any laboratory in the country can use the company’s diagnostic kit for comprehensive genomic profiling.
PGDx also forged important collaborations with the Mayo Clinic to advance the capabilities of oncology diagnostics testing, and with Japan’s Eisai to conduct biomarker discovery work using non-invasive blood samples collected from patients in clinical trials. In January of this year, PGDx entered into a collaboration with QIAGEN to provide comprehensive genomic profiling tests and clinical decision support to molecular labs.
The Series C financing round was led by Cowen Healthcare Investments. Other participants in the Series C included Northpond Ventures, Vensana Capital, Rock Springs Capital, Kern Capital, Sands Capital, PFM Health Sciences, Windham Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Innovatus Capital Partners, Catalio Capital Management, and others.
“We are grateful to receive such enthusiastic support from new and existing investors of this caliber, and are pleased that each of them shares our vision of a future where all patients have access to their genomic information to better inform their treatment decisions,” Bailey said in a statement.
In addition to the financing, Kevin Raidy, Managing Partner of Cowen Healthcare Investments, and Lily Li, Principal with Northpond Ventures, joined the PGDx Board of Directors. In a brief statement, Raidy touted PGDx’s vision to enable patient access to precision medicine through its company’s tissue-based and liquid biopsy portfolio.
“The PGDx elio™ platform represents the first-of-its-kind, FDA-cleared kit that enables labs to perform comprehensive tumor profiling on-site. Meeting the significant market and patient need for this with the only regulated option represents a sizable opportunity to drive growth, build shareholder value, and improve outcomes for cancer patients globally. We are thrilled to partner with PGDx in advancing decentralized NGS testing, changing the standard of care in oncology,” Raidy said.
While 2020 was a significant year for PGDx, the coming year will be marked with multiple milestones, Bailey said. She said the company anticipates a growing customer base of labs running the company’s elio™ products to provide in-house comprehensive genomic profiling for their patients. Also, Bailey said the company plans to launch a new liquid biopsy product that will expand the company’s portfolio in order to address pharma and clinical needs. “And we are continuing to advance some really important strategic partnerships that facilitate growth and expanded clinical utility,” Bailey said.