The growth of preventive medicine may be one of the stories from 2015 coming in under the radar, but eight-digit investments like this one should turn heads.
In an early Christmas (or late Chanukah) present, Israel-based NovellusDx announced on Wednesday that they raised $10 million toward its cancer diagnostics solutions, according to a report in Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist. It is the first major funding the company has grabbed since two $8 million seed rounds in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The new financing leaves open the option for investors to double their input, meaning their current haul of $26 million could balloon to $36 million. Calcalist did not name the current investors in this round.
The funding will go toward expanding the number and scope of the company’s clinical trials. While the company has not disclosed the conditions for doubling investments, it is common for biomedical financing to condition additional funds on reaching certain clinical or regulatory milestones.
Their analysis entails a live cell assay, or experiment using live cells, and a microenvironment for testing drugs. Novellus identifies tumor-specific driver mutations — i.e. mutations that increase the chance of survival for clones of a given cell — with a solution focused on signaling proteins in cell nuclei. Their technology also predicts the effectiveness of a given drug in its treatment of cancers at different stages of development. The company has presented at several industrial conferences over the last couple of years.
The global cancer profiling market will be worth $35 billion by 2018 according to an analysis by Markets and Markets. One report counts 100 major investments in cancer diagnostics companies since mid-2013 in public and private markets, including $80 million from July to August alone. Immuno-oncology, which covers advanced genetic testing to diagnose predisposition to cancer later in life, garnered nearly $11 billion in deals in 2015 according to researcher Nicholas Longworth.
NovellusDx maintains offices in Jerusalem, Israel at the Jerusalem Bio-Park. They list 19 employees and executive staff on their website, including CEO Haim Gil-Ad, CSO Yoram Altschuler, and VP R&D Shuki Sheinman.