Health tech company Freenome nabs $7 mln


South San Francisco-based Freenome, a health tech company, has secured $7 million in funding. Section 32 led the round.

PRESS RELEASE

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, August 24, 2017 — Freenome, the health technology company reinventing disease management through non-invasive early detection and intervention, announced today that it has raised an additional $7 million as an extension to its previously announced Series A funding, bringing the total to nearly $72 million. The extension was led by Section 32, founded by former GV (Google Ventures) CEO Bill Maris, and included investments from Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and CEO of 23andMe, and other private and corporate investors. Proceeds from the Series A funding are being used to accelerate clinical trials, expand research and bring the company’s disease screening products to market.

“Freenome is developing accurate, non-invasive screening tools for the early detection of diseases such as cancer, and earlier detection can have a profoundly positive impact on patient outcomes,” said Maris.
Since 2014, Freenome has been using a combination of machine learning, biology and computer science to create simple and effective disease screening assays. To date, the company has collaborated with more than 25 research partners around the world – including Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health (UCSD), University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) – and has gathered and processed thousands of samples through their active research and clinical trials programs. Freenome is also working with five pharmaceutical companies to validate the company’s software as a potential solution for clinical trial stratification and precision prescribing.

“Our mission is to help clinicians find signs of disease at their most manageable stages so that outcomes for people fighting deadly diseases like cancer improve,” said Gabe Otte, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Freenome. “The group of investors supporting Freenome bring a wealth of expertise in building world-class companies and we are grateful for the partnership we’ve developed with Bill Maris and the other forward-thinking investors who continue to help strategically advise Freenome. With this additional funding, we will further accelerate our research and clinical trial collaborations and continue advancing our first products towards regulatory review.”

Through internal research programs, Freenome has discovered novel signatures independent of traditional mutation calling, such as immunological and metabolic changes in cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and other analytes, that are more robust for early cancer detection and allow for a cost-effective assay. Freenome is currently focused on scaling its technology and the accuracy of screenings for four types of cancer – lung, colorectal, breast and prostate – with plans to address other forms of cancer and diseases.

Additional investors in the Series A financing include Andreessen Horowitz, Asset Management Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Data Collective (DCVC), Founders Fund, GV (Google Ventures), Innovation Endeavors, Polaris Partners, Spectrum 28 and Verily, the life sciences subsidiary of Alphabet.

ABOUT FREENOME
Headquartered in South San Francisco, Freenome is a health technology company developing accurate, accessible and non-invasive disease screening products for proactively treating cancer and other diseases at their most manageable stages. Freenome aims to reinvent disease management through systematized early detection and intervention. Since launching in 2014, the company has raised more than $70 million from leading technology and healthcare investors.

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