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SOURCE Epic Sciences, Inc.
Investment will support scale of global services, development of independent diagnostic tests, and deployment of future companion diagnostic products
SAN DIEGO, July 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Epic Sciences, Inc. ("Epic"), a privately held biotech company that designs and develops novel diagnostics to personalize and advance the treatment and management of cancer, announced today the completion of a $30 million Series C Preferred Stock financing. The financing included new investors RusnanoMedInvest (RMI) and Arcus Ventures, existing investors Domain Associates, Roche Venture Fund, and Pfizer Venture Investments, as well as undisclosed individual investors. With the proceeds of the financing, Epic will commercialize its circulating rare cell analysis platform with special focus on developing products and services to detect circulating tumor cells (CTC) in cancer. Epic's technology enables the rapid and minimally invasive characterization of protein biomarker and genomic profiles in CTCs allowing for superior therapy selection and the early drug resistance detection.
"Since our investment in the Series B, Epic has consistently expanded its commercial partnerships to develop new companion diagnostics, demonstrated the clinical utility of Epic's technology across a broad range of cancers, extended the capabilities of the core technology platform and attracted top talent to thoughtfully advance the company," said Kim Kamdar, Ph.D., partner at Domain Associates. "Domain Associates was enthusiastic to expand the investment and establish Epic as a premier provider of minimally invasive diagnostic tests to improve the precision of cancer care."
"With our partners, we have shown that Epic's CTC technology is sensitive, specific, and clinically relevant. We believe diagnostic tests developed with Epic technology will provide essential, real-time information to support a comprehensive view of a patient's cancer for better therapy matching and drug resistance monitoring," said Murali Prahalad, Ph.D., president and CEO of Epic Sciences. "We are grateful for the support of our new and returning top-tier investors. With the proceeds from the financing, Epic will enhance its technology via automation and advance multiple clinical studies for 510(k) fillings. The Epic team is focused on accelerating our diagnostic products through commercialization to ensure the best outcomes for patients."
Epic is developing highly sensitive and informative diagnostic tests to rapidly quantify the proteomic and genomic changes that occur over time during the treatment of a patient's cancer, from a minimally invasive liquid biopsy. With a simple blood draw, Epic's "no cell left behind" approach analyzes approximately six million cells across more than 90 parameters to capture and analyze all possible types of CTCs. CTCs are the most advanced blood-based biomarkers that can encompass the real-time genetic and molecular profiles of both primary tumors and metastases. For clinical and pharma partners, Epic provides a report that can incorporate CTC enumeration, quantitative protein biomarker analysis and single-cell genomic analysis by next generation sequencing (NGS) or fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). The information provided by Epic's report can be used to monitor and personalize cancer treatments at every clinical decision point.
Epic's technology was exclusively licensed from the Kuhn Lab at The Scripps Research Institute. "Epic's technology has achieved an unprecedented level of sensitivity in detecting circulating tumor cells to develop crucial cancer diagnostics for the millions of patients who need better ways to match drugs to their disease subtype and to understand whether their treatment is working," said Dr. Peter Kuhn, professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California and co-founder of Epic. "In the near future, we will be able to answer the questions that doctors and patients have: what is the status of the cancer, what therapy can best treat the cancer and is that therapy working?"
About Epic Sciences
Epic Sciences, Inc. is developing novel diagnostics to personalize and advance the treatment and management of cancer. Epic's mission is to enable the rapid and non-invasive detection of genetic and molecular changes in cancer throughout a patient's journey. The company was founded on a powerful platform to identify and characterize rare cells, including CTCs. Our technology helps match patients to targeted therapies and monitor for drug resistance, so that the best treatment path can be chosen at every clinical decision point. Today, we partner with leading pharmaceutical companies and major cancer centers around the world. Epic's goal is to commercialize our technology to increase the success rate of cancer drugs in clinical trials and improve patient outcomes by providing physicians real-time information to guide treatment choices.
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