Foundation Medicine Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based cancer diagnostics company, has added to its Series A financing, closing the round with $33.5 million. New investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Google Ventures join Third Rock Ventures in the round. Brook Byers, a partner with Kleiner Perkins, and Google Ventures’ Krishna Yeshwant will join Foundation Medicine’s board.
Foundation Medicine, Inc., a cancer diagnostics company that aims to bring comprehensive cancer genome analysis to routine care, today announced that the company has closed an expanded Series A financing, bringing the total raised in the round to $33.5 million. In addition to founding investor Third Rock Ventures, this financing includes new investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and Google Ventures. In conjunction with the financing, Brook Byers, partner, KPCB, and Krishna Yeshwant, M.D., partner, Google Ventures, will join Foundation Medicine’s board of directors.
“We look forward to partnering closely with the Foundation Medicine team as the company develops their test, which will ultimately contribute to improved patient healthcare.”
“We have been extremely pleased by the strong interest Foundation Medicine has received from the investment community over the past year, and we are delighted to welcome KPCB and Google Ventures to the Foundation Medicine team, as well as Brook and Krishna to the board,” commented Michael J. Pellini, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Foundation Medicine. “KPCB and Google Ventures bring diverse industry-leading expertise that will help us continue our advance toward a national commercial launch of our cancer diagnostic test in 2012. KPCB has a tremendous track record for building valued diagnostic companies, and they bring a thorough understanding of the regulatory and reimbursement components of our business. Google Ventures brings deep insights into the areas of informatics, storage and user interface, as well as strong knowledge on how to work with large amounts of data to leverage and build a scalable business. We are continuing to build upon the momentum achieved through our collaborations with Novartis and Celgene announced earlier this year, and we have leveraged our strong financial position to support CLIA certification in the fourth quarter of this year followed by a successful commercial launch.”
Foundation Medicine has developed a comprehensive cancer diagnostic test that will use next-generation sequencing (NGS) to analyze routine clinical specimens (i.e., small amounts of formalin fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor tissue) for molecular alterations in more than 200 cancer-related genes. The test will be optimized for clinical-grade analysis of tumor tissues, overcoming multiple complexities (such as purity, ploidy and clonality) inherent to tumor genomes. The company is working to translate this capability into clinically relevant tests for pathologists and oncologists.
Test results will be reported through a secure, interactive website linking genomic data to a structured knowledge base of relevant, publicly available scientific and medical information. Patients whose cancers have specific genetic alterations are often very difficult to recruit for clinical trials, so the company also aims to provide information on relevant clinical trials through its website. By combining genomic data and scientific and medical information in an easy-to-use format, Foundation Medicine’s test results can serve as a helpful decision-support tool for physicians to recommend cancer treatment approaches tailored to each patient’s molecular subtype.
“Foundation Medicine is an emerging leader in the field of molecular diagnostics and clinical next-generation sequencing,” said Brook Byers. “We believe the company has the potential to truly enable personalized medicine by supporting clinical decision making to improve cancer patient care. The founding advisors are world leaders in cancer genomics, cancer biology, clinical oncology and information sciences, and the company is led by a management team with a track record in building successful organizations focused on delivering innovations in the life sciences to benefit as many patients as possible. This blend of scientific and business leadership positions the company well to bring cancer genomics into the routine practice of medicine.”
“We see a significant market opportunity for Foundation Medicine’s cancer diagnostic test. Foundation Medicine is proactively addressing the growing need for physicians to assimilate and make decisions on large amounts of complex data in an intuitive and accurate manner,” said Krishna Yeshwant. “We look forward to partnering closely with the Foundation Medicine team as the company develops their test, which will ultimately contribute to improved patient healthcare.”
About Google Ventures
Google Ventures is the venture capital arm of Google Inc. We seek to discover and help develop great companies, and believe in the power of entrepreneurs to do amazing things. Our investments range from seed to late stage, across a broad range of industries, including consumer Internet, digital media, software, hardware, and biotechnology. We embrace the challenge of helping young companies grow from the proverbial garage to global relevance. For more information, visit www.googleventures.com.
About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in over 500 ventures, including AOL, Amazon, Citrix, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Sun, Symantec, Verisign and Zynga. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 250,000 people. More than 150 of the firm’s portfolio companies have gone public. Many other ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions.
About Third Rock Ventures
Third Rock Ventures is a venture capital firm founded in 2007 with the mission to launch transformative life sciences companies. With more than $800 million and two funds under management, the firm is focused on working with passionate entrepreneurs to build exceptional companies working in areas of disruptive science that will make a difference in the lives of patients. The firm has assembled a team with deep expertise and a proven track record of building respected and successful life sciences companies. With decades of complementary, cross-functional operational and leadership experience, the Third Rock team actively engages with its portfolio companies to provide hands-on strategy and experience to successfully launch companies with the best vision, science, operations, people and culture. With offices in Boston, MA and San Francisco, CA, Third Rock is well positioned geographically to closely collaborate with its portfolio companies to achieve their goals. To learn more about Third Rock and its portfolio companies, please visit www.thirdrockventures.com.
About Foundation Medicine
Foundation Medicine is dedicated to improving cancer care through the development of comprehensive cancer diagnostics that will help physicians inform treatment decisions based on an individual patient’s molecular cancer subtype. Foundation Medicine’s first laboratory test, based on a targeted, massively parallel sequencing platform, is designed to accommodate a broad landscape of cancer genome information and a growing repertoire of targeted treatments and clinical research opportunities. Foundation Medicine’s test will assist physicians to make prompt and informed determinations about the best cancer treatments and clinical trial options for each patient, taking into account each patient’s unique cancer-associated alterations alongside publicly available scientific and medical information. The company’s founding advisors are world leaders in genome technology, cancer biology and medical oncology; they, alongside clinicians, biotech and molecular diagnostics industry leaders, are working to harness emerging technologies to develop unparalleled tests that will identify and interpret an ever-growing set of actionable genomic alterations, truly enabling personalized cancer medicine. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.foundationmedicine.com.