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Cancer Diagnostics Company Gains $5M in Early Round Funds

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On-Q-ity in Waltham, Massachusetts, a developer of cancer diagnostics technology, says it has added $5 million in series B financing, the second round of funding after initial start-up. Participants in the round are Mohr Davidow Ventures, Atlas Ventures, and Physic Ventures, all of which are current investors in the company.

On-Q-Ty — short for Oncology + Quality + Clarity — develops personalized cancer diagnostics based on circulating tumor cells (CTCs), cancer cells that have broken away from the main tumor and spread through the body in the bloodstream. If CTCs become embedded elsewhere in the body, new cancers can form.

CTCs that break away from the tumor offer a way of diagnosing the current make up of the tumor that can alter its composition in response to treatment. On-Q-Ty’s technology captures, analyzes, and classifies CTCs in blood to identify CTCs with a variety of alterations in DNA, RNA or proteins. Researchers will be able to use the On-Q-ity technology to guide targeted therapies, monitor treatments, and detect cancer recurrence.

The company also announced the appointment of Michael Stocum as its new CEO. Stocum is president of Personalized Medicine Partners, a company providing services to biotechnology and diagnostics businesses.

On-Q-Ty reported on tests of its C5 chip product in July 2011 at a meeting of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry. The tests used cultured tumor cells added to normal human blood, as well as samples of blood from patients with advanced cancers. The findings showed the chip captured and identified a high percentage of the target cells, including in 97 percent of samples with cultured tumor cells.

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