Thrive Earlier Detection Corp., a Baltimore, MD- and Cambridge, Mass.-based company dedicated to incorporating earlier cancer detection into routine medical care, raised $110m in Series A financing.
The round was led by Third Rock Ventures, with participation from Section 32, Casdin Capital, Biomatics Capital, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, Invus, Exact Sciences, Cowin Venture, Camden Partners, Gamma 3 LLC and others.
The company intends to use the funds to further advance and commercialize CancerSEEK.
Led by Christoph Lengauer, Ph.D., partner at Third Rock Ventures, and co-founder and chief innovation officer, and Steven J. Kafka, Ph.D., partner at Third Rock Ventures and chief executive officer, Thrive is advancing CancerSEEK, a liquid biopsy test designed to detect multiple cancer types at earlier stages of disease. Developed by cancer research pioneers Drs. Bert Vogelstein, Kenneth Kinzler and Nickolas Papadopoulos at Johns Hopkins University, CancerSEEK combines analysis of a highly targeted set of DNA and protein measurements from blood to detect cancer.
Minimizing the “false-positive” results common in today’s early cancer screening tools enables physicians to focus follow-up procedures on patients who have cancer and for whom the doctor can take treatment action.
Thrive plans to integrate real-world data and machine learning to continue to improve CancerSEEK over time and to create a cost-effective comprehensive care solution for primary care physicians.
CancerSEEK is currently being evaluated in DETECT, a prospective study in 10,000 healthy individuals underway in collaboration with Geisinger, to better understand test performance and the implementation of its findings into patient care.
Thrive intends to conduct additional clinical studies to generate evidence to support regulatory approvals, inclusion in cancer screening guidelines and broad reimbursement.
The company founders include:
– Bert Vogelstein, M.D., a pioneer in cancer genomics and the first scientist to elucidate the molecular basis of a common human cancer, is the Clayton Professor of oncology and pathology and co-director of the Ludwig Institute at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (SKCCC) at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Vogelstein is also an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
– Kenneth W. Kinzler, Ph.D., an expert on the molecular and genetic analysis of human cancer, is a professor of oncology and a co-director of the Ludwig Institute at Johns Hopkins University and associate director for laboratory research for the SKCCC at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Kinzler also serves as a member of Thrive’s board of directors.
– Nickolas Papadopoulos, Ph.D., an expert in cancer diagnostics and the development of diagnostic tests, is a professor of oncology and pathology at the SKCCC at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Papadopoulos also serves as a member of Thrive’s board of directors.
Thrive is led by an experienced team of company-building scientists and business executives, including:
– Steven Kafka, Ph.D., partner at Third Rock Ventures and former president and chief operating officer at Foundation Medicine, as chief executive officer and director;
– Christoph Lengauer, Ph.D., partner at Third Rock Ventures, former chief scientific officer at Blueprint Medicines, as co-founder and chief innovation officer and director;
– Isaac Ro, former vice president and lead medical technology analyst at Goldman Sachs & Company, as chief financial officer;
– Isaac Kinde, M.D., Ph.D., co-inventor of the technology enabling CancerSEEK, as co-founder and head of research and innovation;
– Geoff Otto, Ph.D., former vice president of product development at Foundation Medicine, as senior vice president and head of product development;
– Samantha Singer, entrepreneur-in-residence at Third Rock Ventures, former chief operating officer at the Broad Institute, as chief operating officer;
– Semi Trotto, former head of human resources at Editas Medicines, as senior vice president and head of human resources;
– Dina Ciarimboli, general counsel at Third Rock Ventures, as general counsel;
– Alexis Borisy, co-founder and former chairman of Foundation Medicine, as a member of the board of directors;
– Michael Pellini, M.D., managing partner at Section 32 and former chairman and chief executive officer at Foundation Medicine, as director.