Mission Bio Raises $30M for Cancer-Focused Precision Medicine Tech

Jack Murtha
DECEMBER 13, 2018
tapestri,mission bio,dna sequencing

A precision genomics company called Mission Bio has raised $30 million to scale its single-cell DNA tech platform designed to predict and prevent cancer relapse, according to an announcement.

The money increases Mission Bio’s war chest to more than $50 million in capital, enabling the South San Francisco, California-based DNA sequencing innovator to expand the market for blood cancer research, spread into global markets and expand to CRISPR gene-editing applications.

Mission Bio leaders claim their platform, Tapestri, can help power better, more personalized cancer care by accurately analyzing cells en masse. The capital raised today, then, could prove critical in fighting cancer, a disease that’s slated to kill 10 million people this year, according to the company.

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“We can beat cancer with more effective, dynamic therapies, but first we need to precisely understand its biology, starting with the varying genetic composition of each and every cancerous cell,” Mission Bio CEO Charlie Silver said in a statement. “Minimal residual disease is a major cause of cancer relapse; overlooking even one cell could put a life at risk.”

The Tapestri Platform analyzes the molecular profile of every cell, a process that Mission Bio says details a patient’s genetic diversity. That information may fuel precision medicine and detect rare diseased cells. Mission Bio says the tech is “50 times more sensitive” than other next-generation sequencing methods, and it has been validated by outside researchers.

So far, the company has sequenced more than a million blood cancer cells. Mission Bio expects to grow that number tenfold by mid-2019.

The Series B funding came a year after Tapestri’s commercial launch, which placed the platform in more than a dozen U.S. cancer centers. The funding round drew support from Agilent Technologies, Cota Capital, LabCorp, LAM Research Capital and Mayfield.

Now, Mission Bio officials hope Tapestri will become an important tool in the blossoming field of gene editing. The platform, they said, can help researchers test their experiments, optimizing research and development of new therapeutics.

“Agilent’s commitment to innovation and precision medicine are well matched with Mission Bio’s Tapestri platform,” said Agilent Technologies’ chief technology officer, Darlene Solomon, “as it has the potential to improve patient outcomes in the fight against cancer — and that’s the most meaningful benchmark of all.”

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