San Antonio—BioAffinity Technologies, the maker of a diagnostic test that is currently focused on lung cancer, announced it has raised $4 million in a Series A funding.
Investors in the round include family offices and high net worth individuals on the East and West coasts, says Maria Zannes, bioAffinity’s CEO. With the new investment, the company says it has raised a total of $12 million.
The San Antonio-based biotech company says it has developed a test that can detect whether cells in a person’s sputum are cancerous, possibility indicating if he or she has a tumor. Sputum is basically phlegm that’s coughed up from the lungs. BioAffinity adds to the sputum a diagnostic agent called CyPath, which is a molecule known as a porphyrin.
BioAffinity believes that porphyrin—a type of naturally occurring molecule in the human body (though bioAffinity’s porphyrin is synthetic)—will be absorbed more by cancer cells than noncancerous cells. As my colleague David Holley reported in February, the company says that the unique characteristic of porphyrins is that they will fluoresce or light up under certain conditions. So when a cancer cell takes up bioAffinity’s porphyrin more readily than a regular cell, the company says it can measure the amount of cancer cells present in a person’s sputum because the ones with more porphyrins emit a different light.
Zannes says bioAffinity will use the money to continue its internal testing on CyPath with the aim of getting the diagnostic into Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) validation trials in the next year. She adds that bioAffinity plans to complete a Series B round of up to $15 million by the end of 2016.