Thrive raises $257M Series B round for registration study of blood test for early cancer detection

Thrive raises $257M Series B round for registration study of blood test for early cancer detection

A company developing a liquid biopsy test that can detect multiple cancers early plans to fund its registration-directed clinical study with the $257 million Series B funding round that it just closed.
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Thrive Earlier Detection said Wednesday that it had closed the round, led by Casdin Capital and Section 32. Other new investors that participated included Bain Capital Life Sciences, Brown Advisory, Driehaus Capital Management, Intermountain Ventures, Janus Henderson Investors, Lux Capital, Moore Strategic Ventures, Perceptive Advisors, Rock Springs Capital, Sands Capital, T. Rowe Price-advised funds and accounts and others, including all of the invetors in the Series A round.
The company’s aim is to incorporate its blood test for early detection, CancerSEEK, into routine medical care so as to enable their detection and thus more effective treatments and even cures. Currently, cancers are typically detected after symptoms have already manifested, which often takes place when the disease has reached later stages or metastasized. Thrive’s test is designed to work by detecting DNA that tumors have shed into the bloodstream.
In a phone interview, CEO David Daly said that the company is not yet divulging many details about the registration study, as the study’s design is still being finalized. However, he said it would be significantly larger than DETECT-A, the study of more than 10,000 women conducted by Geisinger Health and Johns Hopkins University for which the company presented data at the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting in April, which more than doubled the number of cancers picked up through standard screening methods. The study would also include more centers and enroll both men and women in order to be more representative of the U.S. population at large.
“We’ve had really fantastic engagement with the [Food and Drug Administration] since CancerSEEK got breakthrough device designation in 2018,and we look forward to finalizing the design, which is imminent,” Daly said.
However, Daly and Isaac Ro, the company’s CFO, cautioned that while the test is designed to detect multiple cancers, it is not meant for pan-cancer detection, as some cancers – such as brain cancers, for instance – cannot be detected through DNA that has been shed. Moreover, the ability of various cancers to be detected can vary due to factors like number of samples available.
“This is not a panacea,” Ro said in the same phone interview. “We want to make sure we’re working with the standards of care and not generating false hype.”
Photo: harmpeti, Getty Images

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