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ArcherDX attracts money and talent
BOULDER, Colo.—ArcherDX continues its rapid growth and expansion, most recently inking a $60-million financing deal spearheaded by Perceptive Advisors. The investment will help cover the costs of a broad expansion of the company’s operations, while enhancing its diagnostic innovation and disease monitoring capacity.
The Perceptive Advisors group focuses on financing innovation in the life-sciences industry by identifying promising technologies and providing critical funding to ensure development of potentially game-changing discoveries, with a particular focus on biotechnology products, drugs, medical devices and diagnostics. For this round of financing, they are joined by PBM Capital, Boulder Ventures, Longwood Fund and Peierls Foundation.
“We welcome Perceptive, one of the leading healthcare investors, to our growing investor group,” said Jason Myers, co-founder and CEO of ArcherDX. “We believe this financing affirms the progress we’ve made with our companion diagnostic program and enables us to take advantage of the unique technology and assay customization capabilities we’ve developed to establish a leadership position in the emerging minimal residual disease monitoring market.”
The financing will help fuel ArcherDX’s recent growth, first by allowing for expansion of its Reveal ctDNA 20 kits. These targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) detection instruments specialize in sequencing circulating cell-free tumor DNA from 28 genes most commonly associated with solid tumor type cancers. In addition, it will support enhancement of the capacity of the Anchored Multiplex PCR (AMP)-based target enrichment system. By pairing the AMP chemistry with a proprietary algorithm, the company expects to be able to build new in-vitro diagnostic solutions that increase functionality, accelerate testing time and lower costs.
“We are excited to partner with ArcherDX as they continue to build a highly differentiated, leading molecular oncology company, and we look forward to supporting the team as they work towards achieving product approvals over the coming years,” commented Sam Chawla, portfolio manager at Perceptive Advisors.
This investment comes on the heels of other strong growth indicators for Archer DX. In March 2019, it publicized a research collaboration with the University College London (UCL) and the Francis Crick Institute to use the AMP technology to detect evidence of disease recurrence in lung cancer patients from cell-free circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). This partnership was founded as a piece of the Cancer Research UK-funded, UCL-sponsored TRACERx study, which demonstrated that “a patient-specific approach to circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) profiling could be used to characterize minimal residual disease (MRD) in patients who have undergone potentially curative surgery for lung cancer.”
This collaboration will develop targeted assays based on the AMP technology to better detect low-volume MRD at high levels of sensitivity and inform future potential for the system that may be optimized with the more recent funding.
These developments follow other strategic partnerships—including one with Genosity Inc. to co-market its collection of software services designed to improve next-generation sequencing-based testing—which, in turn, will support the growth of related products in the ArcherDX arsenal. Genosity services are said to tackle all phases of genomic testing, including assay and bioinformatics design assistance, validation planning and execution services, variant interpretation support, and revenue cycle management optimization.
To steward these broad organizational changes, ArcherDX has added a number of new senior level executives and new board leadership. In March, the company announced new appointments to its executive leadership team in the roles of senior vice president of regulatory and diagnostic strategy, vice president of human resources and a new chief medical officer. This expanded leadership panel will serve under Dr. Steven Kafka, the newly appointed executive chairman of the board of directors.
“I’m delighted to help [ArcherDX] deliver best-in-class NGS-based genomic analysis to cancer researchers and patients around the world,” said Kafka. “ArcherDX’s AMP technology is the best platform to power the democratization of personalized medicine, a mission about which we’re all passionate.”