Liquid biopsy co Nucleix raises $55m

Cancer

The company's lead product EpiCheck is for the earlier detection of lung cancer.

Liquid biopsy developer for earlier detection of cancer Nucleix has announced that it has completed an oversubscribed $55 million financing round led by RA Capital Management, with participation from new investors BlackRock, Lilly Asia Ventures, LYFE Capital and MILFAM. Existing investors participating in the round included OrbiMed, Aurum Ventures, DSC Investment, OCI Bio Investments and Zohar Zisapel.

Nucleix will use the latest investment to speed up development of its methylation technology, known as EpiCheck®, and to develop Lung EpiCheck, its lead product for the early detection of lung cancer.

With offices in Rehovot and San Diego, Nucleix was founded in 2008 by Weizmann Institute graduates Dr. Danny Frumkin, and Dr. Adam Wasserstrom. Chris Hibberd was recently appointed CEO.

He said, "Early detection of cancer from a blood sample is like listening for a whisper in a crowded room - you need to separate a faint signal from considerable background noise. EpiCheck minimizes sample loss and background noise while detecting minute cancer epigenetic signals with greater sensitivity than other technologies. This new funding enables us to further demonstrate the power of the technology through a focused program in lung cancer, advancing tests designed to be highly sensitive, easily deployed and cost effective."

EpiCheck is an ultra-sensitive technology for the detection of methylation changes and is compatible with both next-generation sequencing (NGS) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) platforms. Nucleix is applying the NGS application of EpiCheck for deep discovery, to reveal new biomarkers that may be used in the early detection and monitoring of cancer. In turn, these discoveries can be advanced as highly sensitive tests using the PCR application of EpiCheck, with the potential to run cost-effectively in both centralized and local laboratories.

Lung EpiCheck is a highly sensitive, methylation-based blood assay for the early detection of lung cancer. The test analyzes subtle, disease-specific changes in DNA methylation markers meeting the needs of its target population - current and past smokers - to catch cancer earlier when treatment can be most effective.

Nucleix VP medical Dr. Aharona Shuali said, "The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently updated the screening guidelines for high-risk lung cancer patients to double the number of people who qualify for annual screening, but a challenge remains as less than 10% of those eligible in the US follow the guidelines today. Lung EpiCheck has the potential to provide an effective screening option that increases compliance and drives more patients to follow guidelines in the US - increasing chances of patients having a long-term benefit."

Nucleix expects EpiCheck to be on the market in 2022 for use in private laboratories.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 7, 2021

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

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