Foresight Diagnostics announces $58.75 Million Series B financing led by Foresite Capital to commercialize ultrasensitive liquid biopsy MRD testing platform
AURORA, Colo., April 27, 2023 --Foresight Diagnostics, Inc, a leading developer of ultrasensitive cancer detection tests, announced today that it has closed an oversubscribed Series B financing round of $58.75 million. The financing was led by Foresite Capital, with participation by Civilization Ventures, Bluebird Ventures, Pear Ventures, Agent Capital, Stanford University, and The University of Colorado Healthcare Innovation Fund. The proceeds will be used to accelerate the clinical development and commercialization of Foresight Diagnostics’ cancer recurrence testing platform, PhasED-SeqTM.
“We are excited and honored to be working with Jim Tananbaum, Vik Bajaj, Uplaksh Kumar, and the Foresite Capital team,” said Jake Chabon, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Foresight Diagnostics. “Foresite Capital brings significant operational and investment experience in cancer diagnostics and the minimal residual disease (MRD) market and are an excellent partner for us as we pursue our mission to improve the lives of cancer patients. This next chapter in our growth will be focused on expanding our support of pharmaceutical partners, furthering the clinical and regulatory claims associated with our platform, and bringing our tests to patients. For our pharma partners, these increased capabilities will support both translational research and prospective clinical trials.”
Foresight’s patented PhasED-Seq technology leverages the sequencing of phased variants for ultrasensitive and highly specific detection of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). The approach enhances sensitivity and specificity by requiring the concordant detection of two or more distinct somatic mutations within a single DNA molecule, enabling detection of MRD ctDNA at levels below one part-per-million (<0.0001%). Over 20 clinical studies using Foresight's technology have been published across both liquid and solid tumors and have been presented at major clinical oncology meetings such as AACR, ASCO, ASH and ICML. Following a $12.5M Series A financing, Foresight initially focused on evidence generation in patients with B-cell malignancies and PhasED-Seq has now been extensively validated in this clinical setting, including multiple studies presented at the 2022 ASH annual meeting.
More recently, the company has expanded their efforts to demonstrate the utility of their MRD testing platform in patients with solid tumors. Earlier this month at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR 2023), Foresight presented data generated using their Solid Tumor Recurrence Test showing that PhasED-Seq achieved a high confidence limit of detection (LOD95) of one part-per-million or below in the majority of blood samples. This improvement in analytical sensitivity corresponded to an approximately two-fold improvement in clinical sensitivity for MRD detection following surgery in patients with early-stage lung cancer who later relapsed compared to prior results generated using first generation SNV-based MRD approaches.
As part of this funding, Uplaksh Kumar, Ph.D., will be joining the Foresight Diagnostics board of directors. Dr. Kumar is a Venture Partner at Foresite Capital, and brings extensive experience in cancer diagnostics and operations, having formerly worked as the SVP of strategic operations and scale at GRAIL, where he launched Galleri®, the first of its kind early detection blood test. Prior to his role at GRAIL, Uplaksh was the first head of operations at Verily, and has held various leadership positions at Life Technologies, BD, LONZA, and Qiagen.
“I’ve been extremely impressed by the achievements that Foresight has made towards redefining cancer treatment and the drug development process through precision cancer monitoring,” said Kumar. “I look forward to leveraging my operational experience to help commercialize Foresight’s MRD testing platform.”
"We’re delighted to have Dr. Kumar join Foresight’s board of directors, where he will join the company’s founders, Genentech’s former SVP and Global Head for Personalized Healthcare Mark Lee, and myself as we work to improve the lives of cancer patients through innovative diagnostics,” stated Shahram Seyedin-Noor, founder and General Partner at Civilization Ventures.
About Foresight Diagnostics
Foresight Diagnostics is a privately held cancer diagnostics company and CLIA-registered laboratory. The company has developed a novel liquid biopsy testing platform for the measurement of minimal residual disease (MRD) that is significantly more sensitive than existing tests (with a detection limit below 0.0001%, or one part-per-million). The improved sensitivity of the Foresight’s MRD assays can provide actionable information to physicians and biopharmaceutical companies to enable more personalized treatment approaches for patients with solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. For more information, please visit foresight-dx.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
The Foresight MRD platform is based on the Phased variant Enrichment and Detection by Sequencing (PhasED-SeqTM) technology. PhasED-Seq lowers the error profile of mutation detection in sequencing data by requiring the concordant detection of two separate non-reference events in an individual DNA molecule. By detecting more than one mutation, PhasED-Seq can more accurately distinguish tumor-derived cell free DNA (i.e., ctDNA) from healthy cell free DNA – enabling detection of ctDNA at levels below one part-per-million (<0.0001%). PhasED-Seq has been extensively validated in thousands of patient samples.
About Foresite Capital
Foresite Capital is a multi-stage healthcare and life sciences investment firm with approximately $3.5 billion in assets under management. The firm aims to address areas of great unmet need by funding promising healthcare and life sciences businesses at all stages of their life cycles. Foresite Capital uses a data science-driven approach to invest in companies that leverage biology and big data to transform healthcare. Founded in 2011, Foresite Capital is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York City. For more information, please visit www.foresitecapital.com.
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