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Epic Sciences Raises $30M in Private Financing; Lucier Named Chairman

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Epic Sciences has raised $30 million in a Series C round of private financing that it will use to support development of its circulating tumor cell analysis platform.

The San Diego-based firm is developing a circulating rare cell analysis platform with a particular focus on developing products and services to detect CTCs in cancer. It plans to market molecular diagnostic tests that rapidly quantify proteomic and genomic changes that occur over time during the treatment of a patient's cancer from a minimally invasive liquid biopsy.

Epic said that it will provide clinical and pharmaceutical partners with reports that incorporate CTC enumeration, quantitative protein biomarker analysis, and single-cell genomic analysis by next-generation sequencing or fluorescent in situ hybridization. The information from the report can then be used to monitor and personalize cancer treatments, the firm said.

The financing round included new investors RusnanoMedInvest and Arcus Ventures, existing investors Domain Associates, Roche Venture Fund, and Pfizer Venture Investments, as well as undisclosed individual investors.

"We believe diagnostic tests developed with Epic technology will provide essential, real-time information to support a comprehensive view of a patient's cancer for better therapy matching and drug resistance monitoring," Murali Prahalad, president and CEO of Epic Sciences, said in a statement. "With the proceeds from the financing, Epic will enhance its technology via automation and advance multiple clinical studies for 510(k) fillings" with the US Food and Drug Administration, he added.

Epic also said today that it has appointed former Life Technologies Chairman and CEO Greg Lucier as its new chairman of the board. He was CEO of Invitrogen before that firm merged with Applied Biosystems in 2008 to form Life Technologies.

"Greg led Invitrogen from a cutting edge tools provider and transformed it into a global life sciences company that enabled the era of personalized medicine," said Prahalad. "We look forward to his guidance as we grow our clinical trial partnerships with pharmaceutical companies to include the development of on-label, marketed companion diagnostics."