NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Freenome, a company developing early-detection cancer tests, said today that it has raised $5.6 million in seed funding.
Founder and CEO Gabriel Otte, who released the news in a posting on the company's site, said the round was led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, along with Founders Fund, Data Collective Venture Capital, and Third Kind Venture Capital, among others.
Freenome bases its technology on what Otte calls "the dynamic collection of genetic material floating in your blood (cell-free) derived from the trillions of cells in your body. It is your living cell-free genome changing over time."
Using knowledge derived from the studying the so-called freenome, the company said it has been able to develop early detection tests for cancer, as well as a computational platform called the Adaptive Genomics Engine (AGE) that uses cell-free DNA data to create cancer tests. Right now, Otte said in his post, the AGE answers questions such as "'cancer' or 'no cancer.' Over time, as we teach it with more data, it is able to answer other questions such as 'which type of cancer.'"
Otte added that Freenome is partnering with researchers at leading institutions to further develop the technology so that it is able to detect disease, distinguish which cancer a patient has, and suggest therapeutics to treat the patients.
The company plans to publish its findings soon, and is working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the US Food and Drug Administration on pre-market review for its products.