TwinStrand Biosciences, the pioneer and developer of Duplex Sequencing, an ultra-high accuracy technology for revealing exceptionally low-frequency genetic variants, today announced that it has closed a $50 million Series B financing led by Section 32, with participation from new investors Soleus Capital, Janus Henderson Investors, and existing investors Madrona Venture Group, Ridgeback Capital, and Alexandria Venture Investments, among others. As part of the financing, Michael Pellini, MD, Partner at Section 32, will join the TwinStrand Board of Directors.
“TwinStrand’s technology platform is delivering a new level of sensitivity, clarity, and accuracy to the exploration of genomic variation,” said Dr. Pellini. “By overcoming the inherent limitations of today’s next generation sequencing technologies, TwinStrand is creating new possibilities for transforming scientific discoveries and related clinical applications, ultimately delivering improved patient outcomes. Section 32 is pleased to join this world-class group of investors and to partner with the entire team at TwinStrand.”
TwinStrand’s biochemistry and software-based solution enables researchers and clinicians to detect genetic “needles in a haystack.” By identifying ultra-low frequency DNA mutations with a resolution 10,000-fold greater than conventional tools on the market, TwinStrand enables detection, quantification, and characterization of variants that were previously undetectable. Such sensitivity and accuracy are vital for a range of applications, including early cancer detection, identifying residual cancer after treatment, monitoring for cancer recurrence, tracking of advanced cellular immunotherapies and uses in genetic toxicology, including CRISPR and other forms of gene editing and gene therapy, among others.
“This financing is a rewarding milestone in our growth as a company and a true testament to our team’s perseverance in a challenging year. In addition to the commercial launch of our first products, and the build out of our clinical lab, 2020 marked an important milestone in the validation of our expanding intellectual property portfolio as we closed a major deal in liquid biopsy to kick off our out-licensing program,” said Jesse Salk, MD, PhD, CEO, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of TwinStrand Biosciences. “We are honored to welcome Mike to the TwinStrand team. His perspective as a clinician-executive who has built a number of pioneering life sciences companies will be invaluable as we continue to expand our product offerings, customer support, and operational systems, as well as bringing technology access to new partners.”
Currently, Dr. Pellini is a Managing Partner of Section 32, a venture capital fund investing at the frontiers of technology and healthcare with the goal to improve the human condition by accelerating the discovery, development and distribution of important technologies and life-saving medicines. Previously, Dr. Pellini served as CEO and Chairman of Foundation Medicine (NASDAQ: FMI), and President and COO of Clarient (NASDAQ: CLRT), a national leader in molecular pathology, which was acquired by GE Healthcare in 2010.
In addition to Drs. Pellini and Salk, the TwinStrand Board of Directors includes: Chairman Chad Waite (Managing Director, OVP Venture Partners); Steve Dow (General Partner, Dow Capital Partners), and S. “Soma” Somasegar (Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group).
About TwinStrand Biosciences, Inc.
TwinStrand Biosciences is leading the way in identifying ultra-low frequency genomic variants that are undetectable by conventional methods. The company’s highly sensitive and specific Duplex Sequencing technology delivers clearer insights to researchers and clinicians in applications ranging from residual cancer detection to genetic toxicology. This data can inform critical decisions in clinical medicine, public health, and other fields of science on a faster timescale, where actions are most impactful. TwinStrand’s scientist-leaders have authored more than two dozen peer-reviewed articles using Duplex Sequencing Technology and have developed a portfolio of more than 100 patents and patent applications. The company has partnered with pharmaceutical companies, academic centers, clinical research networks and federal regulatory agencies to bring high precision genomics to the forefront of their science. For more information visit www.twinstrandbio.com.