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Freenome Closes $270M Series C Financing to Support Early Cancer Detection Trial

NEW YORK – Liquid biopsy technology firm Freenome said Wednesday that it has closed an oversubscribed $270 million Series C financing round, led by new investor Bain Capital Life Sciences and existing investor Perceptive Advisors.

Concurrent with the financing Ellen Hukkelhoven, a managing director at Perceptive Capital, will join the Freenome board of directors. "Freenome is at an exciting inflection point as it moves its first product through pivotal testing, and we see future opportunities on the horizon to expand its platform to create blood-based screening tests for a range of additional cancers," she said in a statement. "There is so much untapped potential to bring advanced technology to improve cancer screening and to make testing more accessible and cancer more preventable."

Other new participants in the round included Fidelity Management & Research Company, Janus Henderson Investors, Farallon Capital Management, Rock Springs Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, EcoR1 Capital, Catalio Capital Management, and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.

Existing investors joining in the financing were RA Capital Management, T Rowe Price Associates, American Cancer Society's BrightEdge Ventures, Sands Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, DCVC, GV, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, Novartis, Polaris Ventures, Roche Venture Fund, Soleus Capital, and Section 32.

The new funds bring the company's total financing to over $500 million since its launch in 2016, and the firm said proceeds will be used to accelerate its PREEMPT CRC clinical trial, a registrational study launched in May of this year, which is intended to support US Food and Drug Administration clearance for its first product, a multiomics blood assay for colorectal cancer screening.

Freenome also noted that the PREEMPT trial has expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic to enroll patients from anywhere in the continental US. All eligible 45- to 85-year-olds who are asymptomatic, average-risk, and undergoing a screening colonoscopy in the region, can now participate. The firm is implementing virtual tools, logistics, and communications to enable this, and its ultimate goal remains to recruit up to 14,000 individuals.

In addition to PREEMPT, South San Francisco, California-based Freenome said the financing will support its plans to advance a pipeline of blood tests for both early detection and early intervention in other cancer types, as well as to continue enhancing its multiomics technology platform.