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Precision for Medicine Reels in $150M in Private Financing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Precision for Medicine, a Chevy Chase, Md.-based startup offering a variety of services for life science companies, has brought in $150 million in private funding, the firm said this week.

The company is focused on providing bioservices, such as biobanking, biospecimen management, and biomarker identification and validation, as well as consulting and advisory services for firms developing or offering products for "patient-centered, precision medicine."

Precision for Medicine was formed last year by Ethan Leder and Mark Clein, who have founded a series of healthcare companies, the most recent of which was United BioSource, a firm focused on providing services to biotech and pharma companies after they received marketing approval of products. That firm was sold to Medco Health Solutions in 2010 for around $750 million.

The company said that it would use the funding — provided by Leder and Clein, as well as Oak Investment Partners and JH Whitney and Co. — to support acquisitions and development of services.

"Next generation medicine is about placing greater emphasis on the patient as the focal point of all product development activity," Leder, who is serving as CEO of the firm, said in a statement. "Life science companies that are moving to embrace precision medicine will fundamentally improve the efficiency of drug development and will deliver products that offer better results for patients. Our mission is to build the services and infrastructure to support life science innovators as they develop new products that deliver the best outcomes to patients."

Clein, who is president of Precision for Medicine, told GenomeWeb Daily News that the firm has nearly 150 employees already, some of whom came to the company through the acquisition of a biobanking business last year.

But around half of the firm's operations are centered on its consulting and advisory services. "We have strategy, reimbursement, market access, and regulatory consulting all in house … all pointed at industry to support product development," said Clein.

He said that, thus far, the field of precision medicine has been focused on genetics, molecular biology, companion diagnostics, and the creation of opportunities to stratify patient populations.

"But the way we look at the landscape is that that is one part of it, not the whole part of it, and that probably the biggest single dynamic that is going to be at play and affecting drug and diagnostic device development is the convergence that's happening between the health systems and developers of medical products as a result of healthcare reform," said Clein.

He said that the major health systems recognize that they are not only going to be providers of care but also payers of care, and "they want to get involved in research." Conversely, the drug and diagnostic firms need access to patients and will need to show "tangible outcomes that are measurable in order to get paid in the future."

Clein added, "This whole dynamic is going to drive this next generation of techniques that will have to reduce the cost and increase the speed at which new products get developed and brought to the market. That's what we're trying to build here."