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Diagnostics Company Lands $12 Million Series B Funds

RNAscope 2.0 image of melanoma cells (Advanced Cell Diagnostics)

RNAscope 2.0 image of melanoma cells (Advanced Cell Diagnostics)

Advanced Cell Diagnostics Inc., a genomic diagnostics developer in Hayward, California, secured $12 million in series B funding, the second round of venture financing after initial start up. New Leaf Venture Partners that specializes in health care technology investments led the round, joined by existing investor Morningside Ventures.

Advanced Cell Diagnostics makes diagnostic tests that detect and quantify RNA biomarkers. RNA, short for ribonucleic acid, is genetic material related to DNA that transfers genetic codes needed for the creation of proteins. The company says its platform technology, called RNAscope, provides genetic profiles of single cells in tissue, and thus more precise and sensitive molecular signatures than is possible with current genomic technologies. Samples tested with RNAscope can also be stained to generate reactions for detection with standard fluorescent microscopes.

Proceeds of the financing are expected to support the commercial expansion of RNAscope into the life science research and clinical diagnostics markets.  For pharmaceutical and biotechnology researchers, RNAscope aims at validating candidate biomarkers faster and less expensively, making  RNA biomarkers more actionable for more targeted therapies, and getting companion diagnostics to market sooner.

For physicians and patients, RNAscope is expected to provide more precise diagnostic targets leading to more precise treatments, with less chance for adverse side effects. RNAscope can also deliver test results faster, says Advanced Cell Diagnostics, with turnaround time for a new assay reduced to three weeks.

The company is developing diagnostic tests based on RNAscope for head and neck cancer, cervical cancer, b-cell lymphoma, melanoma, breast cancer, and circulating tumor cells.

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Hat tip: Fortune/Term Sheet

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