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TwinStrand Biosciences Accelerates Commercialization with $16M in Series A Funding

January 7, 2020 GMT

SEATTLE, Jan. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- TwinStrand Biosciences™, a novel genetic sequencing technology company, today announced the close of $16 million in Series A funding, including $12 million in new capital. Madrona Venture Group led the investment with participation from Alexandria Venture Investments, Ridgeback Capital and Sahsen Ventures. The funding will be used to accelerate the company’s commercial pipeline, as well as to support the growth of corporate infrastructure and pharmaceutical partnerships. The University of Washington spinout previously raised $5.5 million in Seed funding, in addition to $6.4 million in SBIR grants, to develop and commercialize its Duplex Sequencing™ technology.

Duplex Sequencing is a biochemistry and software-based enhancement to existing DNA sequencing platforms that 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, clinically important decisions can be made with confidence. Such sensitivity and specificity is vital for a range of applications, including early cancer detection, monitoring for residual cancer after treatment, genetic toxicology, and drug development, among others.

“We are able to directly observe genetic phenomena in ways that have simply never been possible before,” said Dr. Jesse Salk, CEO, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder of TwinStrand. “For example, typically, it takes years of testing to show that new drugs are safe from the perspective of cancer risk, at a cost of millions in research and development. We can now achieve this in days or weeks, with the ultimate goal of getting important drugs to patients much sooner. Similarly, we have now shown that it is possible to detect unrecognized carcinogen exposures in people, and we hope to use this to both help affected patients get care and to aid public health authorities in finding and eliminating carcinogens in the environment.”

Duplex Sequencing identifies extremely rare mutations that go undetected by current next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms. TwinStrand’s scientist-leaders have authored more than 15 peer-reviewed articles on Duplex Sequencing and have developed a portfolio of over 45 patents and patent applications. The company is already collaborating with pharmaceutical companies, academic centers, clinical research networks, and federal regulatory agencies.

“Being able to read our DNA with the breakthrough accuracy of Duplex Sequencing will have a profound impact on each of our lives,” said Terry Myerson, Venture Partner at Madrona Venture Group. “TwinStrand’s innovation is at the forefront of the intersection of life sciences and computer science. We are excited to invest in the incredible team and opportunity ahead at TwinStrand.”

About TwinStrand Biosciences
TwinStrand Biosciences is leading the way in identifying rare genetic variants undetectable by current sequencing methods. The company’s highly-sensitive and highly-specific Duplex Sequencing™ technology delivers faster insights to researchers and clinicians in applications ranging from early 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.

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SOURCE TwinStrand