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Universal DX Closes $70M Series B Round, Inks Deal With Quest to Provide Colorectal Cancer Test

NEW YORK – Liquid biopsy firm Universal DX (UDX) said Monday that it has closed a roughly $70 million Series B financing round.

Investors in the round included Quest Diagnostics, which UDX said in a concurrent announcement would be exclusively offering the company's Signal-C colorectal cancer screening test in the US through a strategic collaboration formed by the two firms.

UDX's Signal-C test uses next-generation sequencing to identify DNA fragments and methylation patterns in blood indicative of colorectal cancer. The company is planning a 15,000-patient study across more than 100 investigator sites to support a US Food and Drug Administration submission for the test. Testing for the study will be done out of Quest's oncology center of excellence in Lewisville, Texas.

In a 1,000-patient study presented at Digestive Disease Week in May 2023, Signal-C demonstrated 93 percent sensitivity for colorectal cancer detection, and 54 percent sensitivity for detection of advanced adenomas at 92 percent specificity overall.

"Quest Diagnostics has the leading expertise in oncology and national scale to harness our Signal-C technology to make it broadly accessible in the United States," Juan Martinez Barea, chairman of UDX, said in a statement. "This collaboration will make it more likely that patients in the United States will, over time, have a convenient, quality, and accessible option to screen for colorectal cancer."

"Quest is continually exploring opportunities to serve large unmet clinical needs with new innovations, developed both organically and with third parties," Kristie Dolan, VP and general manager of oncology at Quest, said in a statement. "UDX has created a promising method of screening for colorectal cancer with a simple blood test that includes the ability to detect advanced adenomas."