Slater Commits $250,000 Seed Funding to Genomics Company Launched out of Brown University
Company Developing Technology to Translate Cancerous Tumor Genomes and Drive Better Therapeutic Decisions
Providence, R.I., January 4, 2017 – The Slater Technology Fund today announced that it has committed $250,000 in seed funding to Medley Genomics, a life sciences startup out of Brown University. The company will use the funding to build partnerships and demonstrate proof of concept with collaborators.
Medley Genomics is the first personalized medicine company founded to use genomic analysis methods to assess the complex genomic heterogeneity found in biological samples. Initially focused in oncology, the company aims to develop a new paradigm in personalized oncology by characterizing and defining genomic heterogeneity in the tumors of individual patients to inform clinical decision-making and improve patient outcomes.
Today, treatment decisions are often directed by the molecular profile of a patient’s tumor, a profile derived from the most frequent molecular alterations identified in the tumor. A fundamental challenge for treatment lies in the underlying heterogeneity of the tumor cells, each driven by unique molecular signatures. Thus, while treatment may have previously held the cancer at bay, rarer cell subpopulations often emerge from the tumor and proliferate, leading to treatment resistance and tumor progression or metastases. Medley’s mission is to quantify the genomic heterogeneity and unique cell subpopulations in a tumor and to use this knowledge to inform initial therapeutic decisions, including combination therapies, with the hope of offering significant benefit in patient outcomes.
Medley Genomics is based on technology and software tools developed in the lab of Benjamin Raphael, Ph.D., formerly professor of computer science and director of the Center for Computational Molecular Biology at Brown University and now at Princeton University. The company recently attracted a high-profile CEO, Patrice Milos, Ph.D., a pioneer in the fields of genomics and medicine. Milos previously served as CEO of Claritas Genomics, executive at Pfizer, and senior vice president at Helicos BioSciences. Other Medley Genomics founding team members include Barrett Bready, MD, co-founder and CEO of Providence-based Nabsys, a developer of a genome mapping platform, and Katherine Gordon, Ph.D., the managing director of the Technology Ventures Office at Brown University.
“We are excited to support this promising new startup out of Brown University,” said Richard G. Horan, senior managing director of the Slater Technology Fund. “Medley’s founders have deep, first-hand understanding of leading genomic analysis technologies and detailed knowledge of those in development, along with leading-edge software for evaluating and quantitating genomic heterogeneity. They are targeting a problem that has become the latest front in the war on cancer, an area where truly meaningful advances are being introduced into clinical practice.”
About Slater Technology Fund
The Slater Technology Fund is an independently chartered economic development fund that operates in accord with best practices of venture capital investing, backing new ventures committed to basing and building businesses in Rhode Island. Leveraging state and federal funding, Slater focuses its resources on the support of entrepreneurs who have the vision, leadership and commitment to build substantial commercial enterprises. Slater typically invests at the inception stage in the development of a new venture, often based upon ideas and technologies originating in academic institutions and/or government research laboratories located within the region. In most cases, investments are premised upon the possibility of raising substantial follow-on financing, from venture capital investors or from strategic partners, with a view toward accelerating the generation of significant numbers of high-value, high-wage jobs over the intermediate to longer-term. For more information, visit www.slaterfund.com.
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