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Foundation Medicine Adds $13.5 Million to Series B Funds

DNA Strands (NIST.gov)

(NIST.gov)

Foundation Medicine, a genomic diagnostics company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, added $13.5 million to its current venture funding, bringing its series B  round — the second financing cycle after start-up — to $56 million. The new investors include entrepreneurs and venture financiers Bill Gates, Evan Jones, and Yuri Milner.

Foundation Medicine, founded by scientists at the Broad Institute, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School and MIT, are developing genomic analysis tools for personalized cancer diagnosis and treatments. The company’s lead product, FoundationOne, produces a genomic profile that the company says expands treatment options, by matching molecular changes in tumors to targeted therapies.

The technology examines and reveals genes altered in human cancers, and that offer potential targets for therapies. The results from FoundationOne, says the company, makes it possible to align existing personalized treatments for the cancer, or to identify clinical trials with experimental therapies.

Foundation Medicine is partnering with several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies including AstraZeneca, Esai, Novartis, and Clovis Oncology on clinical trials of their cancer drug candidates. With Clovis Oncology, a deal announced in August 2012, Foundation Medicine will help identify cancer patients most likely to respond to rucaparib, a small-molecule drug developed to treat tumors with defective BRCA gene function in breast and ovarian cancers.

Novartis, in June 2012, said it plans to use Foundation Medicine’s molecular data many of Novartis’s Phase 1 and 2 oncology clinical trials. Foundation Medicine’s capabilities are expected to help align clinical trial enrollment and outcome analysis with the genomic profile of individual patient tumors to refne the testing of new cancer treatments.

Foundation Medicine initially closed its series B round in September 2012, raising $42.5 million from several new and current investors. The company closed its series A round with $33.5 million in October 2011. Its early backers include venture capital company Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Google Ventures.

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Hat tip: Fortune/Term Sheet

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