C2i Genomics Raises $12 Million in Series a Funding
C2i Genomics (“C2i”), a company dedicated to improving cancer patient lives and outcomes with a breakthrough tumor pattern recognition approach for liquid biopsy, announced that it has raised $12 million in its Series A financing. The financing was led by Casdin Capital and joined by additional new investors including NFX Capital, The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research and other investors. Proceeds from the financing will be used to fund the development and clinical validation of C2i Genomics’ personalized, real-time solution for monitoring recurrence and treatment response for various types of solid cancers.
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“This Series A funding will allow us to take the next major step in our growth and advance our core technology into pilot and pivotal validation studies in several oncology indications,” said Asaf Zviran, C2i Genomics’ co-founder, chief executive officer and chief scientific officer. “We believe that the improvement in sensitivity we’ve achieved will allow physicians to quantitatively monitor their patient treatment response and detect treatment failure or disease recurrence months and even years before they would do otherwise. We have built C2i on a solid scientific and technological foundation and are excited to work with our investors and other partners toward the deployment of our cloud-based platform for disease management. The great support of our clinical collaborators from the US, Europe and Asia highlights the global need that underlines our mission to support effective therapy decisions for millions of cancer patients around the world.”
C2i Genomics’ innovative solution is based on research performed at the New York Genome Center (NYGC) and Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) by Dr. Zviran, along with Dr. Dan Landau, core faculty member at the NYGC and assistant professor of Medicine at WCM, who serves as scientific co-founder and member of C2i’s scientific advisory board. C2i then welcomed Dr. Boris Oklander as chief technology officer, and Ezra Sofer as its general manager and chief financial officer, both of whom bring extensive executive leadership and management expertise and experience from their previous roles in the healthcare industry. The technology has been validated through longitudinal clinical cohorts in collaboration with cancer centers in New York and Boston and was recently published in Nature Medicine. This proof-of-concept research was supported by a 2017 grant from The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research.
“The C2i technology allows for the company to develop a bio-platform approach that works across cancer types and allows effective guidance of diverse treatment modalities from surgery and chemotherapy to immunotherapy and targeted therapies.” said James Currier, managing partner of NFX Capital. “Such a data-based treatment management platform will produce a network effect, which will increase the value of C2i’s data and services over time. We predict that this is a unique opportunity to build a sector defining company.”
Existing liquid biopsy methods focus on detecting specific mutations in targeted panels. Panel-based methods can have limited sensitivity and show only mutation-specific response which do not typically represent the full complexity of the cancer’s response due to tumor heterogeneity. C2i’s liquid biopsy analysis platform can detect and quantify very small amounts of residual disease in the patient’s blood by utilizing a personalized tumor “fingerprint” representing thousands of mutations for each individual patient. This novel genome-wide signature detection, coupled with proprietary mathematical inference models and machine learning techniques, provides ultra-sensitive quantification of the amount of circulating tumor DNA in the patient’s blood, accurately capturing the aggregate response of the heterogenic tumor.
Ultra-sensitive treatment monitoring holds promise to improve patient outcome while reducing the overall cost burden on the health system. Through effective monitoring, C2i technology also offers the opportunity to accelerate clinical trials, aiming to bring lifesaving treatments to the clinic.
“Genomic tools are bringing enormous benefit to the cancer patient treatment through more powerful and precise care and therapeutic development,” said Eli Casdin, managing partner of Casdin Capital. “The C2i approach breaks through sensitivity limitations of current approaches by exploiting the team’s unique capabilities at the intersection of genomic and data sciences. The Series A financing catalyzes progress towards making an impact by supporting clinical development partnerships and collaborations with the biopharma industry.”
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