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Adaptive Biotechnologies Acquires Sequenta

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center spinout Adaptive Biotechnologies has acquired immune sequencing company Sequenta, the companies said today.

Adaptive Biotechnologies CEO Chad Robins will remain as CEO of the combined company. Tom Willis, Sequenta co-founder and CEO, and Malek Faham, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Sequenta, will join the senior leadership team and report to Robins. Willis and John Stuelpnagel, Sequenta's chairman, will join the board of directors.

Adaptive Biotechnologies offers a proprietary assay for sequencing the T cell and B cell receptors called ImmunoSeq, as well as ClonoSeq, a clinical diagnostic test to measure minimal residual disease in patients with T and B cell malignancies.

Sequenta, meantime, offers its own clinical test, ClonoSight, which uses proprietary technology to target immune cells and measure MRD in leukemia and lymphoma patients.

The companies said that they will focus on expanding the use of the immune sequencing research platform for academic and pharmaceutical researchers and on commercializing technology for measuring MRD in blood cancers.

"Our mission is to change the course of medicine through sequencing a patient's adaptive immune system," Robins said in a statement. "By combining our resources, we can increase the number of clinical trials we are able to run to validate clinical applications of immunosequencing, and explore new and innovative research and development initiatives that neither of us would have been able to do alone."

"We believe immunosequencing represents a more sensitive and accurate alternative to current standard of care used to detect MRD in patients with blood cancers, including flow cytometry," Willis said in the statement. "Together, we can accelerate the adoption of this technology in clinical practice and in clinical trials for revolutionary new therapies that use MRD to determine patient specific care paradigms."

JP Morgan acted as financial advisor to Adaptive on the acquisition. The acquisition was funded in part by its Series E financing round of an undisclosed amount.

As of April, Adaptive said it had raised a total of $120 million, including $100 million in a Series D financing round in which Viking Global Investors was the sole investor.

The deal will significantly consolidate the immunosequencing field. In 2013, Sequenta secured the rights to immune cell sequencing technology for MRD testing from another immune sequencing company, iRepertoire, a spinout from the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.

And, this past November, Sequenta struck a deal with Illumina to commercialize an in vitro diagnostic MRD test.