NEW YORK – Pangea Biomed, a biotech startup using a transcriptomics-based machine-learning platform to expand the utility of precision oncology drugs to more patients, on Thursday said it has raised an additional $5 million in seed funding.
The funds come from angel investor Danny Tocatly and existing investor NFX. Tel Aviv, Israel-headquartered Pangea has raised a total of $12 million in seed funding since it emerged from stealth mode in April.
The company plans to use its transcriptomics-based Expression Networks for highLIGHting Tumor vulnerabilities, or ENLIGHT, platform to identify precision oncology treatment opportunities for more cancer patients. The ENLIGHT platform uses a combined DNA-RNA machine-learning approach to predict whether cancer patients will respond to specific treatments.
The company estimates that less than 10 percent of cancer patients benefit from currently available precision oncology treatments and has committed to increasing this number by fivefold. It has already struck several partnerships with pharmaceutical companies, which can use its test to refine clinical trial inclusion and exclusion criteria, but such partnerships aren't public yet. Pangea said it is working with Massachusetts General Hospital and Sheba Hospital in Israel.
The firm said it will use the recently raised funds to expand its US-based activities in the hopes of landing more research partnerships and drug development and clinical trial opportunities. Pangea is also looking to hire a chief business officer who will be responsible for scaling the company's US operations.
"Our technology aims to change the way cancer is treated globally," Pangea CEO Tuvik Beker said in a statement. "This seed extension will help us make strides toward improving oncology drug development and making personalized care accessible for all patients."