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TellBio Raises $5M in Series A Round, Inks Deals With Genetron, ARUP for Liquid Biopsy Platform

NEW YORK – Startup TellBio said on Monday that it has raised $5 million in a Series A funding round to develop its TellDx circulating tumor cell, or CTC, technology and complementary TellRx therapeutics platform.

The Beverly, Massachusetts-based startup has also signed strategic agreements with Genetron Holdings and ARUP Laboratories to accelerate global deployment of the TellDx platform.

TellBio's TellDx microfluidic diagnostic platform is a functional assay that detects live CTCs from patient liquid biopsies. The TellRx platform generates novel anti-cancer medicines by specifically targeting CTCs.

Founded in 2019 by Richard Peters, TellBio is exclusively licensing the CTC targeting approach from Massachusetts General Hospital, based on research generated by scientific cofounders Daniel Haber, Mehmet Toner, David Ting, Shyamala Maheswaran, and Ravi Kapur.

The new funding round was led by Crocker Ventures, Genetron Holdings, ARUP Laboratories, and the National Foundation for Cancer Research and included the participation of several angel biotech investors.

As part of the strategic agreements, Genetron will license and distribute TellDx within China and collaborate with TellBio to improve the platform. Meanwhile, ARUP plans to implement the TellDx platform across several research programs in the US.

TellBio has also appointed Pritesh Gandhi as its CEO. Prior to TellBio, Gandhi was general manager at Alnylam, and he has also held positions with Sanofi Genzyme, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, and Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

"Today's announcements propel TellBio as a unique, next-generation player in the field of liquid biopsies and novel treatment modalities for patients with cancer," Gandhi said in a statement. "I am thrilled to be joining the company as its unique technology allows for detecting live circulating tumor cells regardless of cancer type."

In addition, the firm has appointed Annie Partisano as senior VP and head of operations. Partisano most recently served as VP of medical operations at Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals and has previously held various leadership positions at Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi, and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.