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Biofidelity raises further $23m as it moves towards launch of ASPYRE-Lung diagnostic product



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Biofidelity has raised $23million in a series A+ investment round that will fund the launch of its assay to detect lung cancer mutations.

The fast-growing Cambridge Science Park company hopes to launch ASPYRE-Lung, based on breakthrough molecular technology, in the coming months.

Barnaby Balmforth, CEO of Biofidelity
Barnaby Balmforth, CEO of Biofidelity

The investment round, which takes the total raised by the company to $36m, was led by London and New York-based Octopus Ventures and backed by Japanese venture capital firm SBI Investment Co and existing investors.

“Our mission is to ensure that all patients diagnosed with cancer have access to the genomic information they need to receive the best possible treatment,” said Biofidelity CEO Dr Barnaby Balmforth.

“This financing is an important step towards making this vision a reality, enabling us to launch our revolutionary technology and to make comprehensive biomarker testing faster, more affordable and more accessible than ever before.

“We’re delighted to have the backing of Octopus Ventures and SBI Investment, as well as strong support from our existing investors, as we embark on this next phase of our journey.”

Biofidelity’s ASPYRE technology is an entirely new, highly sensitive method of accelerating the detection of genomic biomarkers, aiding the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of disease.

It relies on an enzymatic reaction - pyrophosphorolysis - in which a DNA polymerase is forced to run in reverse, digesting double-stranded DNA rather than synthesising it. The reaction only proceeds through perfectly matched double-stranded DNA and is blocked by mismatches.

It is designed to deliver the precision of ultra high-depth next-generation sequencing, but crucially, the technology is developed to run on existing PCR machines - the kind in wide use for Covid-19 testing - meaning it can be readily adopted by laboratories worldwide without major infrastructure costs.

Biofidelity moves into its new Cambridge Science Park HQ
Biofidelity moves into its new Cambridge Science Park HQ

ASPYRE-Lung, which is expected to be launched first through Biofidelity’s recently established US headquarters and cancer diagnostic laboratory in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, is able to detect 111 markers across 11 genes

It can help physicians identify which targeted precision cancer therapies could offer better outcomes for patients.

The company, founded in 2019, will expand from its initial focus on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to broader application across the $15billion cancer testing market.

Biofidelity completed a $12m Series A financing in May 2020, supported by BlueYard Capital, Longwall Ventures and Agilent Technologies.

Following the latest round, October Ventures partner Dr Luke Hakes said: “It’s hard to overemphasise both the uniqueness and transformational impact of Biofidelity’s technology.

“We’re proud to partner with this world-class team on its mission to increase the accessibility and affordability of biomarker testing, to democratize cancer diagnostics and unlock the full potential of precision medicine for all patients.”

Biofidelity won the Kao Data-sponsored Start-up of the Year category at the 2020-21 Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards last April.

Read more

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Biofidelity lines up first product after being granted key patent in US protect its cancer diagnosis technology

Biofidelity moves to larger Cambridge Science Park HQ and appoints Dr Robert Osborne as COO

Biofidelity’s $12m will help it transform cancer diagnostics



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