NEW YORK ─ Liquid biopsy test developer Exai Bio said Thursday that it has closed a $67.5 million Series A financing round to accelerate development of an RNA-based liquid biopsy platform for early cancer detection.
Life sciences and technology investors Section 32 and Casdin Capital led the financing round, with participation from Two Sigma Ventures.
San Francisco-based Exai Bio said its testing platform enables early diagnosis of cancer from blood samples to inform personalized treatments.
The platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to analyze cell-free RNA profiles, with a specific focus on orphan noncoding RNA — small RNA sequences not seen in normal tissue that are abundant in tumors.
Exai Bio holds an exclusive license for the development and commercialization of its testing platform from the University of California, San Francisco Innovation Ventures’ Office of Technology Management & Advancement.
The technology has been used in multiple studies, including the I-SPY 2 trial, conducted in collaboration with UCSF, which is designed to improve outcomes in individuals with high-risk breast cancer, Exai Bio said.
Hani Goodarzi, cofounder and scientific adviser for the firm, presented data from I-SPY 2 on Thursday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in San Antonio, Texas.
"The data in the neoadjuvant breast cancer setting is significant, as early-stage breast cancer has been a difficult target for ctDNA-based liquid biopsy approaches," Goodarzi said in a statement.