NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Chronix Biomedical said today that it has reeled in $1.8 million in Series E financing from existing and new investors that it is using to develop its serum-based disease tests.
The company's testing technology uses disease-specific biomarkers based on DNA fragments from damaged and dying cells that circulate in the bloodstream and are applicable to a range of cancers and other diseases.
"Funds from this financing helped us complete proof-of-concept studies confirming that our apoptotic DNA blood tests can accurately detect multiple cancers at early stages," and which resulted in two patent filings for tests for breast and prostate cancer, Chronix CEO Howard Urnovitz said in a statement.
Chronix's two lead assays have detected breast cancer and invasive prostate cancer with 92 percent sensitivity and 100 percent specificity in "a number of peer-reviewed settings," the San Jose, Calif.-based firm said.
Other studies have shown that the company's DNA-based biomarker technology can identify the presence or absence of active disease in multiple sclerosis patients, and that it can detect early-stage breast cancer, Chronix said.
The company also is working with the University of Calgary to develop a veterinary test for detecting mad cow disease.
"In view of the multiple potential applications for our technology, we have now initiated a significantly larger financing that will be used to accelerate the commercialization process," added company CFO John DiPietro. "Our returning shareholders have participated in each round of financing to date based upon Chronix having successfully achieved our stated milestones, and the closing of this Series E round will allow us to complete the remainder of the milestones we have mapped out for the coming year."
The company also is offering its Apoptic Serum DNA testing service to cancer researchers for investigational use only to track disease recurrence in clinical trials.