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Blood Test Maker Biodesix Raises $12M, Readies for Product Launch

Xconomy Boulder/Denver — 

Boulder, CO-based medical diagnostic company Biodesix announced today it has raised $12 million to help launch a new, as yet unannounced product line and to continue promoting its blood test that oncologists can use to guide lung cancer treatment.

The money comes from Biodesix’s existing investors and extends the Series E round the company opened in late 2013. Biodesix now has raised $27 million in the round, bringing the total equity raised to $92 million.

Biodesix is the maker of VeriStrat, a blood test that can be used during the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer. The test is a serum protein test doctors can use to decide whether to treat patients with a drug called erlotinib (Tarceva), which is sold by Genentech and Astellas Pharma, or to rely on single-agent chemotherapy.

The test screens for patients who do not have epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations and who are not candidates for platinum-based chemotherapy or who have tried it with unsuccessful results.

Biodesix currently is testing the clinical utility of VeriStrat in other solid tumors, including colorectal and pancreatic cancers.

VeriStrat is Biodesix’s primary product, and the company began ramping up its sales and marketing push in 2013 after raising an $8.8 million Series D round. That effort continued into 2014 and was augmented by money Biodesix raised in its subsequent Series E round and from a $20 million debt facility.

Part of that money also was set aside for additional research and clinical development. In an interview last January when the first installment of the round was announced, CEO David Brunel said some money would be used to “substantially increase our investment in new product discovery and development.”

At the time, Brunel declined to give details about the potential new products until testing had been completed. The company’s website says it is working on tests used to treat degenerative diseases.