Cernostics, a Pittsburgh and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based cancer diagnostics company, raised $5m in funding.
The round was led by UPMC Enterprises with participation from Novitas Capital.
The company intends to use the funds to grow and accelerate its introduction of a new diagnostic test for people with an esophageal condition called Barrett’s Esophagus that can lead to cancer.
Led by Chief Executive Officer Mike Hoerres, Cernostics is an oncology diagnostics company whose technology enables precision medicine. Using digitally scanned images of a biopsy slide, the company’s software provides measurement and analysis of more than 13,000 features for each patient sample—including multiple biomarkers, or proteins.
The information produced by the TissueCypher™ platform can then be used to provide physicians and patients with individualized, actionable scores indicating diagnosis, prognosis or response to therapy. In Barrett’s Esophagus, for instance, Cernostics has developed a test that identifies high-risk patients who are almost 10 times more likely to progress to esophageal cancer within five years of biopsy vs. low-risk patients—something that is currently difficult to determine by standard pathology.
This test could enable early intervention to prevent cancer in high-risk patients, and spare low-risk patients frequent and unnecessary endoscopies and treatments.
Previous investors in the company include Geisinger, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse.