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St. Louis-Based Genomics Company, PierianDx, Raises a Big Series B Round

St. Louis continues to have strong biotechnology startup fundings.  The most recent funded company is PierianDx, a clinical genomic informatics company. This week the company announced that it has raised $27 million from ATW Partners and SJF Ventures.  In addition to these funders, other existing investors participated in the round, including Health Catalyst Capital, Inova…

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St. Louis continues to have strong biotechnology startup fundings.  The most recent funded company is PierianDx, a clinical genomic informatics company.

This week the company announced that it has raised $27 million from ATW Partners and SJF Ventures.  In addition to these funders, other existing investors participated in the round, including Health Catalyst Capital, Inova Health Systems, RTI International, and ARUP Laboratories.

PierianDx is a software company with a SaaS business model.  The company provides researchers and clinicians with a genomics platform that allows the clinician to increase the standard of care.  Founded in 2014 by Rakesh Nagarajan (pictured), Picture of Founder the company is focused on improving cancer diagnostics and making targeted therapies to treat diseases more accessible to healthcare systems, laboratories, and other health care facilities.  By providing this ability to provide targeted care to sick patients, the company believes that it can dramatically improve health care outcomes.

However, implementing genomics testing can be difficult for many health care providers.  As PierianDx states on its blog: “Genomic tests that use next generation sequencing (NGS) technology are on the rise, and there’s a growing trend for hospitals to insource these tests to improve turnaround time and reduce costs. However, these tests can be challenging to implement. Challenges include lack of bioinformatics expertise, the cost and expense of deploying a new test, and reimbursement, to name a few.”

This is where Pierian Dx comes in.  It greatly simplifies the process and makes the genomics technology available to health care providers.  This has caused the company to grow rapidly. As Dr.  Nagarajan stated in the press release announcing the funding: “PierianDx has grown tremendously over the past 18 months and is continuing to add the clinical expertise and resources necessary to execute on our vision. Our team is uniquely skilled and dedicated to the adoption of clinical NGS around the globe.”

Raising capital for biotechnology companies is frequently a critical step regarding the company’s ability to expand and grow.  According to Pitchbook, PierianDx has hired more than sixty employees and some of the funding is designated to hiring more.  This type of business expansion is important because it creates not just job opportunities, but it also marks the commercialization of technology that is being created by a university.  In this case, Washington University of St. Louis helped commercialize PierianDx, and Dr. Nagarajan continues to enjoy a faculty position.  This is a success story that happens too infrequently in the Silicon Prairie – but St. Louis and Wash U. are consistently providing some of the best results.

The Series B Round is a $27 million infusion from ATW Partners, a New York investment firm, which was founded in 2016.  The firm invests across industries with PierianDx marking their first Midwest investment this year and their first in bio-related software.  “We are excited about leading the Series B investment in PierianDx. We believe PierianDx will change the way cancer is treated worldwide and we are proud to be investors,” said Mr. Kerry Propper, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of ATW Partners.

SJF Ventures which is based in Durham, North Carolina, is the other lead in this round.  SJF Ventures has a large portfolio with more than two hundred million under management and consistently invests in clean technology and bioscience.

In the announcement of the new fundraise, Michael L. Sanderson, CEO of PierianDx, said, “Our new capital infusion will accelerate the commercial expansion of PierianDx’s leading clinical genomics platform in the U.S. and global markets throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, Latin America, and North America, as we continue to work with leading sequencer, assay and pharma partners in our explosive space. PierianDx is fueled by making the most advanced clinically actionable cancer care accessible to everyone, regardless of location or ability to pay.”

To find out more about the company, check out their website at: www.pieriandx.com.

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