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Applied Proteomics Closes $28M Series C Round

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Applied Proteomics said today that it has closed a $28 million Series C financing round.

The company plans to use the funds to support development and commercialization of its first proteomic diagnostic, a mass spectrometry-based blood test to aid in the early detection of colorectal cancer.

In part, the company said, the funds will go toward the construction of a high-capacity CLIA laboratory that will perform the test, which uses multiple-reaction monitoring mass spec. As reported by ProteoMonitor, API inked an agreement with Agilent in March to collaborate on clinical MRM mass spec assays and workflows for its colorectal cancer test.

That test identifies patients likely to have colon polyps or adenomas with the idea being that such molecular evidence will encourage them to undergo recommended colonoscopies. In a 100-patient 10-fold cross-validation study presented at the Mass Spectrometry's Applications to the Clinical Lab annual meeting in February, the test identified patients with colon polyps or adenomas with an area under the curve of 0.92.

"With the Series C complete, we're positioned to launch our first product and capitalize on the significant unmet need of directing high-risk patients towards colonoscopy," API President and CEO Peter Klemm said in a statement. "We have the potential to dramatically reduce the incidence of colon cancer, which currently claims 50,000 lives per year in the US alone."

According to the company, the investment will also support continued large-scale clinical validation efforts including ongoing sample collection and additional mass spec-based discovery work aimed at identifying protein biomarkers for early detection of various chronic conditions.

The Series C round was led by Malaysian investment firm Genting Berhad, with existing investors Domain Associates and Vulcan Capital also participating in the financing. Upon completion of the round, Genting Berhad Chairman and CEO Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay was appointed to the API board of directors.

The funding follows a $22.5 million Series B round the company completed in February 2012 and a $4 million Series A round it closed in 2007.