PetDx® today announced the completion of its Series B financing with over $62 million in new capital raised, which is one of the biggest Series B rounds for a pet startup; bringing the company's total funding to date to $72 million. The financing was led by Longview Asset Management with participation by Declaration Partners, Torch Capital, Aperture Venture Partners, Valor Equity Partners, Friedman Bioventure, K4 Family Investments, and Labcorp (NYSE:LH). The company's $10M Series A financing in August 2020 was led by Friedman Bioventure with participation from Petco (Nasdaq:WOOF) and an undisclosed leading pet healthcare company.
Cancer is by far the leading cause of death in dogs, with approximately six million new cases diagnosed each year in the US alone; the annual incidence of cancer in dogs is estimated to be ten-fold higher than in humans. There are currently no established cancer screening programs for dogs. PetDx recently launched its novel multi-cancer early detection test, OncoK9®, as a simple blood test that can be easily incorporated into the veterinary clinical routine. OncoK9, the first and only liquid biopsy test for the detection of cancer-associated genomic alterations in dogs, is recommended as an annual screening test in dogs at higher risk of developing cancer due to age or breed, and as an aid-in-diagnosis test in dogs suspected of having cancer.
The new funding will be used to broaden the adoption of OncoK9 directly through PetDx's own commercial platform as well as through strategic distribution partnerships, and to expand testing throughput at the company's central laboratory in San Diego. It will also enable PetDx to accelerate its R&D roadmap and deliver sooner on its full scientific vision for the detection, characterization, and management of cancer in companion animals.
"Over the past two years, PetDx has made efforts unprecedented in veterinary cancer diagnostics to develop and validate the world's first cell-free DNA (cfDNA) based noninvasive test for canine cancer detection, in order to address a massive unmet need in the veterinary space," said Daniel Grosu, MD, MBA, Founder and CEO at PetDx. "We know from decades of experience with cancer in humans that early detection saves lives, and the PetDx team is thrilled to bring the latest advances in liquid biopsy technology from human medicine to the animal health arena."
Since the Seed stage, PetDx's financing strategy has prioritized building a community around the company's mission, with many value-add investors (including 50+ senior executives in the genomics and animal health industries and 25+ leading veterinarians) having made personal investments to date.
"We are very fortunate to have a wide-reaching family of investors who support our goal of building PetDx into the world's leading veterinary cancer diagnostics company," said Arthur Polk, Co-Founder, Chief Financial Officer, and Head of Corporate Development at PetDx. "The Series B raise provides PetDx with the resources to embark on large-scale commercialization of our pioneering solutions, and to advance a rich R&D pipeline in one of the last major greenfield spaces for genomic medicine."
Based on next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology from Illumina that is also powering the latest advances in human liquid biopsy testing for cancer, OncoK9 has been clinically validated through the CANDiD (CANcer Detection in Dogs) Study using samples prospectively collected from over 1,000 client-owned dogs across more than 40 clinical sites on four continents. The study demonstrated the test's ability to detect 30 canine cancer types, with overall sensitivity and specificity mirroring the performance of MCED tests recently developed for cancer screening in human patients. Results of the CANDiD Study – the largest clinical validation study ever performed in veterinary cancer diagnostics – were recently submitted to a leading peer-reviewed journal, and a summary of the findings are available in a white paper on PetDx.com.
OncoK9 is currently available at many veterinary clinics across the US, and PetDx is actively developing commercial relationships with clinics and distributors, as well as R&D relationships with veterinary and human pharmaceutical companies, around the world.