DiaTech rakes in $75 mln

Franklin, Tennessee-based DiaTech, which helps oncologists determine cancer treatments for patients, has secured $75 million in financing. The backer is Keyholder Investments. Also, DiaTech has named Dr. Ronald Krall, Daniel Tasse, and Dr. Lawrence Van Horn to its board.



DiaTech, provider of CorrectChemo®, the drug response profiling test to help oncologists provide personalized cancer treatment, has entered into a $75 MM asset-backed funding agreement with Keyholder Investments, a provider of alternative investment opportunities focused on cancer-related biotech investments.

“The skyrocketing cost of chemo drugs and move to value-based care, combined with our aging population, means we have to come up with a better strategy to make sure cancer patients are getting the right treatment at the right time,” says Robert E. Henry, president and chief executive officer. “The Keyholder investment is a strong vote of confidence in the technology behind CorrectChemo and the emerging market for cancer treatment directing diagnostics; it allows us to accelerate our efforts to conduct research and refine our platforms.”

Go forward corporate leadership includes Henry as chief executive officer and Ian Ferrier, MD PhD as interim head of research and development as well as strategic advisor. Co-founder Andy Miller will be interim chairman and the company is adding new board members bringing significant value to the Franklin-based company. They include; Dr. Ronald Krall, MD, previously the chief medical officer for GSK; Daniel Tasse, immediate past chairman and chief executive of Ikaria, a company recently acquired by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals; and Lawrence Van Horn, PhD, executive director of health affairs at the Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University.

The company reorganizes as DiaTech Holdings Inc. with offices and/or labs in the US, Canada and the UK. The company will remain headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., and is expected to grow from 21 to 120 employees by 2017. In addition, a new research office will be opened in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

The restructuring and new investment bolsters DiaTech’s effort to expand its presence in the cancer diagnostic testing market. They will initiate research that will demonstrate the effectiveness for high unmet need cancers, specifically acute myeloid leukemia (AML), triple negative breast, ovarian, colorectal and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLS). All research protocols will adhere to the 2004 guidelines established by the American Society of Clinical Oncologists.

“Investors are very excited about the impact that functional assays like CorrectChemo and other diagnostic tools will have in improving treatment outcomes and lowering the global cost of treating cancer,” says Stephen Marsden, Keyholder Funding.

CorrectChemo is the only diagnostic test that delivers, within 72 hours, a ranking of the ability of chemotherapeutic agents to kill tumor cells in an individual patient sample. CorrectChemo provides oncologists with a unique data set to develop a treatment plan tailored to each patient’s individual chemotherapy needs. Clinically published studies have shown that CorrectChemo utilization resulted in improved survival rates.

DiaTech’s laboratories in Franklin, Tennessee, and Montreal, Canada are Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified, and are accredited through the College of American Pathology (CAP).

About DiaTech Oncology
Based in Franklin, Tenn., DiaTech Oncology is a privately held life sciences and clinical pathology laboratory company that offers patient-specific chemotherapy testing to help oncologists determine a cancer treatment plan for their patients. DiaTech utilizes a patented technology called the Microculture Kinetic (MiCK®) assay, which measures apoptosis (cell death) induced in a specific patient’s cancer cells by chemotherapy. Now called CorrectChemo, the test evaluates the chemotherapeutic drug effect for a specific patient and can tell which chemotherapy drugs are effective in inducing cancer cell death. It is also used to determine the effectiveness of new drugs in preclinical trials for the pharmaceutical industry. DiaTech has CLIA and CAP certified laboratories in Franklin, Tenn. and Montreal, Canada.

About Keyholder Investments
For product developers, Keyholder provides a financing solution for innovative and potentially profitable products in the field of Pharma and Technology using a unique methodology that is an attractive alternative to venture capital or equity dilution.

For investors, Keyholder provides access to asset-backed investment opportunities that are both leveraged for profit and reduced in risk as a result of well-negotiated terms and enduring asset value.