Natera, Inc., a San Carlos, Calif.-based genetic testing company, raised approximately $55.5m in funding.
The round was led by Sofinnova Ventures with participation from Capital Research and Management, Franklin Templeton Investments, Jennison Associates, RA Capital Management, Healthcor Partners and OrbiMed Advisors. In conjunction with the funding, James Healy, MD, PhD, general partner, Sofinnova, will join Natera’s board.
The company intends to use the funds to expand worldwide sales and marketing capability, and to invest in research and development. Research priorities include continuous innovation on existing products such as Panorama, development of non-invasive cell free DNA-based tests for early detection and therapeutic monitoring in cancer, and clinical trials to demonstrate test effectiveness and utility in clinical practice.
Led by Matthew Rabinowitz, PhD, chief executive officer, Natera develops and commercializes non-invasive methods for analyzing DNA. The company operates a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) currently offering a host of preconception and prenatal genetic testing services primarily to OBGYN physicians and in-vitro fertilization centers.
In 2013, it launched Panorama™, a test for pregnant women that screens for the most common chromosomal anomalies in a fetus as early as nine weeks of gestation.
The tests have not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).