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Genomic Cancer Dx Services Firm Kew Group Closes on Financing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Genomic cancer diagnostic services firm Kew Group today announced it has closed a private round of financing.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based firm did not disclose the amount of the round or how it will be used, and it did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment. However, in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this moth, Kew said that it raised $16.1 million toward a targeted goal of $30.1 million.

The funding was provided by Cardinal Health and the Boylston Street Group. In a statement, Kew CEO Kathleen Behrens Wilsey said that the financing will allow the company to "continue to build and expand the reach of our offerings to community oncologists across the country."

Kew provides diagnostic services to help community oncologists make more informed decisions about care for their patients. It recently commercialized its first product, CancerPlex, a DNA-based next-generation sequencing test for all solid tumors. According to the firm's website, CancerPlex simultaneously sequences the coding sequence of more than 400 known cancer genes based on a small amount of DNA taken from a formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor sample.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network recently made changes to its clinical practice guidelines to recommend clinicians use multiplex, NGS analysis for lung cancer patients. NCCN also identified the importance of KRAS and NRAS gene testing for colorectal cancer patients, Kew said, adding the changes could result in the expanded use of services such as those it offers.

"We believe the expanded recommendations for implementing more comprehensive testing and analysis of genetic alterations for many different tumor types will translate to better patient outcomes," Kew Founder Raju Kucherlapati said in a statement.

In connection with the financing, John Sullivan, VP of strategy and corporate development at Cardinal Health, has joined Kew's board. Also joining the board is Valerie Jo Friedman of the Boylston Street Group.

Kew said that it and Cardinal Health will "continue to develop a strategic relationship to mutually benefit Kew's oncology testing services and Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions' relationship with community oncologists."