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Inivata Raises $6.6M to Develop ctDNA Assays

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Inivata, a Cancer Research UK spinout, has launched with £4 million ($6.6 million) to support its efforts to develop blood tests measuring circulating tumor DNA.

The funding round was led by Imperial Innovations and included Cambridge Innovation Capital and Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation.

Inivata will develop ctDNA assays using tagged-amplicon sequencing, or TAm-Seq, technology, licensed from Cancer Research Technology and the University of Cambridge where it was originally developed at the lab of Nitzan Rosenfeld, who is CSO of the new company.

TAm-Seq is one of a growing crowd of "liquid biopsy" approaches, which aim to analyze circulating cell-free DNA in a patient's blood for the presence of potentially informative or actionable tumor mutations.

Inivata said it is now focused on working with industry and academics to develop new clinical applications for ctDNA analysis. The goal is to be able to use ctDNA to provide physicians with information they can use to personalize treatment for their patients, improve outcomes, and design more effective clinical trials.

"There is major focus on ctDNA analysis which promises the ability to improve monitoring and treatment of cancer based on information from routine blood samples," Inivata CEO Michael Stocum said in a statement. "We are taking a collaborative approach to the development of clinical applications for ctDNA analysis which have the potential to transform how the disease is understood and treated."