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Illumina Ventures Invests $2.5M in Cancer Dx Firm Cernostics

NEW YORK (360Dx) – Cernostics said today that it has raised $2.5 million in a Series A1 financing round.

Illumina Ventures was the sole investor in the round, which will go toward Cernostics' clinical and market development studies for its TissueCypher Barrett's Esophagus assay for predicting the risk of developing esophageal cancer in patients with Barrett's esophagus.

The ailment develops when chronic exposure to acid from the stomach leads to the deterioration of the esophageal cell lining, creating an environment for cancer. According to Cernostics, more than 3 million Americans have Barrett's esophagus.

TissueCypher is a digital platform for multichannel fluorescence whole-slide imaging and includes image reading, image segmentation, biomarker expression, and tissue structure evaluation.

The TissueCypher Barrett's Esophagus assay was developed to overcome challenges with traditional methods of determining which patients are at risk for disease progression, and its performance is linked to clinical outcome or progress to cancer, not to the level of dysplasia, Cernostics said.

"With this investment by Illumina Ventures, Cernostics will accelerate efforts with GI community leaders and stakeholders to develop robust, transformative clinical evidence on the value of TissueCypher," Cernostics CEO Mike Hoerres said in a statement. 

The investment by Illumina Ventures brings the total that Cernostics has raised since its founding in 2008 to $13 million.