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Color Raises $75M to Scale Infrastructure

This article has been corrected to note that Swedish Hospital is localed in Illinois.

NEW YORK – Genetic testing firm Color has raised $75 million in a financing round that included T. Rowe Price and Viking Global Investors, the company said on Wednesday.

Color said in a statement that in the past year the value of its contracts has grown significantly, and the company has expanded its margins. The recently raised funds will help the company scale its infrastructure.

For example, Color is expanding it partnerships with healthcare systems looking to integrate genetic testing into the primary care setting. This week, the company announced that it had met its goal of enrolling 10,000 patients into the DNA-10K program a year after launching it with NorthShore University Health System. 

The goal of the DNA-10K project is to test out the integration of genomics into primary care practice and assess the clinical utility of providing genetic testing for hereditary cancer and hereditary cardiovascular risk, and drug response. Within that effort more than half of surveyed physicians said that test results were clinically beneficial to patients, according to data collected by Color. Moreover, patients expressed significant interest in the program, which attracted more than 800 new patients to the NorthShore system, Color estimated.

Based on this initial experience, Color said it will expand the partnership in 2020 to 30 additional clinics within the NorthShore system and to a new partner, Swedish Hospital in Illinois. Additionally, Color now will also provide program participants their risk for type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease using polygenic scores. 

The recently raised funds comes as Color is developing a national genetic counseling platform to support the National Institutes of Health's All of Us Research Program, which aims to genetically test 1 million people and use the data for healthcare research. Within this longitudinal study, NIH also plans to return certain clinically actionable information to participants.

Color won a $4.6 million NIH grant last year to advance the genetic counseling resource to support those who receive results or have questions about the findings. The NIH has said that it plans to begin test out returning results in small pilot programs this year. 

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