Company looks to validate first of its kind LDTs intended for immediate clinical use and drive rapidly expanding partnership projects.
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--InterVenn Biosciences today announced it has raised $34M in a Series B fundraising. The latest round was led by Anzu Partners with full participation of Genoa Ventures, Amplify Partners, and True Ventures; Xeraya Capital and the Ojjeh Family joined the syndicate as well. Funds will be used to commercialize the company’s High-Throughput-Glycoproteomic powered diagnostic for ovarian cancer; to service increasing partnership platform demand; and to accelerate development efforts for the immuno-oncology treatment response and colorectal cancer indications.
John Leite, Ph.D., has also joined InterVenn as Chief Business Officer. Dr. Leite comes to InterVenn after six years with Illumina where he led all clinical business development activities to support growth across all clinical markets and foster new opportunities through deal concept, negotiation and execution. Additionally, David Michael, Managing Partner of Anzu Partners, will join InterVenn’s Board of Directors.
“InterVenn enables a powerful new class of cancer diagnostics based on glycobiology," said Michael. "Advances in computation and chemistry will enable its unique, high throughput platform to have a dramatic positive impact on human health.”
Over the last 15 years, glycobiology has developed into an increasingly solid scientific discipline, based on the seminal work of luminaries Professors Carolyn Bertozzi, Ph.D. (Stanford University) and Carlito Lebrilla, Ph.D. (UC Davis), both of whom helped co-found InterVenn and are serving as members of the company’s Scientific Advisory Board with Carolyn Bertozzi as Chairperson.
InterVenn has demonstrated that analysis of protein glycosylation, the most common and most complex form of post-translational protein modification, is a highly effective way of discovering uniquely informative biomarkers. This breakthrough was made possible given the company’s development of its AI neural network for high throughput analysis (PiPTM) and enabling software that powers the proprietary Vista™ research product for over a dozen different oncology indications, including ovarian, renal, lung, liver, prostate, pancreas, nasopharyngeal, and colorectal cancer and several others. Recently, it was utilized for the prediction of response to checkpoint-inhibitor treatment. Vista™’s application-specific disease classifier panels each consist of a limited number of glycopeptide signatures that provide highly targeted readouts with accuracy rates that the “one-size-fits-all” approaches pursued by others have so far generally failed to achieve.
“I’m thrilled and honored to join the executive leadership team at InterVenn. I’m humbled but inspired by the task of driving glycoproteomics as a new diagnostic nomenclature to stratify patients, classify disease, and spawn new medical innovation,” said John Leite, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer of InterVenn Biosciences.
“We are very happy to have John join us as we look to close out this calendar year with some tremendous milestones under our belt. The commissioning of our new office and laboratory space in South San Francisco, continuous generation of data demonstrating best in class performance across disease indications, launching of new artificial intelligence tools that propel our development efforts, and repeated validation of our technology by top organizations via Vista™ puts InterVenn closer to the clinic. Our research and clinical partners continue to be astounded at the type of data we are able to generate and are bullish about the work we do together, even with all the challenges that this year has presented everyone globally, creating an environment and need for the immediate use of glycobiology in the clinic and research laboratories,” said Aldo Carrascoso, Chief Executive Officer of InterVenn.
InterVenn’s initial study, V.O.C.A.L.™, a clinical decision-making tool for ovarian cancer aimed at distinguishing malignant pelvic tumors from benign ones, with neither compromising diagnostic accuracy nor subjecting women to undergoing potentially unnecessary and harmful surgery. V.O.C.A.L.™ is currently actively enrolling patients in a multicenter, international clinical trial with centers in the U.S., Australia, and Southeast Asia, with interim results indicating that the InterVenn test performs significantly better than the currently most widely used ovarian cancer test, CA 125, in terms of both specificity and sensitivity. InterVenn expects to complete enrollment in early 2021.