Proprietary Insight by Kimberly Ha for BioPharm Insight. (Republished with permission)
RiboMed Biotechnologies, the Carlsbad, California based molecular diagnostics company, is seeking USD 10m in Series B financing to commercialize its lung cancer diagnostic, CEO Michelle Hanna said.
Over the last 14 years, the company has raised USD 6m in financing and USD 10m from grants and contracts, she noted.
RiboMed is now seeking institutional investors, Hanna said. The preference is for pharmaceutical companies, other clinical labs and diagnostic companies interested in expanding their epigenetics and diagnostics expertise, she noted.
Its lung cancer test is being developed to diagnose patients and to stratify tumors into squamous versus adenocarcinoma, the CEO noted. The test is ready for launch in the US, and the company is waiting for this additional financing to help commercialize the test, she said. A commercialization team has already been put in place, she added.
The firm can also outlicense its technology, Hanna noted. RiboMed provides bisulfitefree research tools and services for the study of CpG methylation in DNA, as per the company website.
“Our technology platform allows us to take minute quantities of even the most damaged tissue, for example glioma tissue samples that have been really degraded, and analyze it,” Hanna explained.
DNA methylation often occurs at an early stage in cancer and other diseases, the CEO explained. Thus, the company decided to focus on DNA methylation biomarkers, since they are ideal targets for the early detection and appropriate treatment of many cancers.
Besides CpG DNA methylation identification, RiboMed has developed products for the detection of SNPs, DNA, RNA and proteins, based on its Abscription signal amplification technology.
RiboMed’s brain cancer prognostic assay launched in the CLIA lab setting in April 2012, Hanna noted. The company is not focused on colon cancer, and areas of particular interest include women’s health such as ovarian cancer, she said.
The firm’s diagnostic pipeline includes an ovarian cancer assay for information on patients’ responses to traditional treatments. It is a multiple tumor biomarker DNA methylation assay for use with fresh frozen formalinfixed, paraffinembedded patient tumor samples.
RiboMed used to focus on bioterrorism, but after losing a major contract it was forced to shut down most of its operations, Hanna noted. It now has five employees, she added.
by Kimberly Ha in New York
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