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Caris Life Sciences Raises $310M Through Equity, Debt Financing

NEW YORK – Caris Life Sciences said on Tuesday that it has raised $310 million in growth capital, including $235 million in equity financing and $75 million in debt financing.

The equity financing was co-led by Highland Capital Management and Coatue, with participation from funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, OrbiMed, Millennium Management, Neuberger Berman, ClearBridge Investments, First Light Asset Management, and undisclosed investors. The company noted that this is its first significant external equity investment.

The $75 million in debt from Sixth Street is an extension of the $150 million in structured debt financing Sixth Street provided in September 2018. Sixth Street also participated in the equity round. In conjunction with the transaction, Vijay Mohan, cofounding partner at Sixth Street, has been appointed to Caris' board of directors.

Caris said it will use the new funds to continue its growth in precision medicine for cancer care, develop new products, and pursue new initiatives in the clinical trial and biopharmaceutical markets.

"As tumor profiling becomes standard practice, it's important that we continue to grow rapidly as we maintain our leadership position," David Halbert, chairman and CEO of Caris Life Sciences, said in a statement. "We continue to advance our market-leading tumor profiling platform [and] clinical trial delivery service, grow our clinical and R&D laboratory facilities, expand our biopharmaceutical partnerships, and further expand our investments in AI-powered innovation with our Precision Oncology Alliance collaborators."

The Caris Precision Oncology Alliance comprises more than 40 academic, hospital, and community-based cancer institutions, including 17 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Members also have access to the Caris Pharmatech oncology trial network, which can help reduce the time it takes to match patients with novel targeted cancer therapies in clinical development.

Irving, Texas-based Caris offers multi-omic cancer molecular profiling services to help physicians and patients identify more precise and personalized treatments. These include the MI Exome exome sequencing and MI Transcriptome transcriptome sequencing assays, along with analysis of cancer-related pathogens, bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

The company also markets Caris MAI (Molecular Artificial Intelligence), which combines its Caris Molecular Intelligence service offering with a proprietary artificial intelligence analytics engine, DEAN, to analyze the exome, transcriptome, and proteome of cancers to help guide precision treatment.

In April, Caris submitted two premarket approval applications to the US Food and Drug Administration for its MI Exome CDx and MI Transcriptome CDx assays, which include companion diagnostic biomarkers with therapy claims and detect all classes of alterations including genomic signatures for microsatellite instability, tumor mutation burden, and loss of heterozygosity.