To meet the significant surge in demand, BillionToOne expands its CLIA laboratory space and its commercial team
MENLO PARK, Calif., June 14, 2021 (Newswire.com) – Today, BillionToOne, Inc., the precision diagnostics company with the mission to make molecular diagnostics more accurate, efficient, and accessible for all, announced the closure of a heavily oversubscribed Series B funding round of $55 million with premier global investors. Existing investor Hummingbird Ventures and incoming investor Four Rivers Group led the investment round alongside significant participation from Neotribe Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Y Combinator, and Libertus Capital.
Since the launch of UNITY in July 2019, BillionToOne has seen significant market demand and continued to exponentially grow its prenatal business despite the pandemic, growing more than 10-fold in sample volume in 2020. UNITY is the only noninvasive prenatal screen that can detect common inherited disorders such as cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy in the fetus only from a maternal blood sample. To meet the growing demand, BillionToOne has built out a much larger CLIA laboratory with a series of state-of-the-art R&D, CLIA, and oncology labs.
“Our CLIA laboratory has been operating near capacity for the past 6 months. We have seen tremendous growth with an extremely small commercial team. Now that we have moved to a laboratory with significantly higher capacity, we will be able to expand our commercial team nationwide and continue to meet our growing demand,” said Oguzhan Atay, PhD, co-founder and CEO of BillionToOne.
“UNITY addresses the challenge with equity of access that exists with the traditional carrier screening workflow in a fundamental way,” said Jennifer Hoskovec, MS, CGC, Director of Medical Affairs at BillionToOne. “With the traditional carrier screen workflow, paternal carrier screening is essential to provide accurate fetal risk assessment. Due to various financial and logistical barriers, getting paternal carrier screening completed can be a significant challenge. The average paternal carrier screen adherence rate is 41% and the number is even lower in some populations. UNITY testing assesses the fetal risk directly by sequencing the cell-free DNA and eliminates the need for paternal testing and other follow up in >98% of cases. With the increased lab capacity, we can offer UNITY to more clinics nationwide and I’m excited about the improved access to standard of care we are providing to all patients.”
The Series B funding will be used to support the expansion of the clinical lab as well as the clinical and commercial team. BillionToOne’s R&D team is also actively developing and conducting clinical studies for a high-resolution oncology liquid biopsy product line based on the same molecular quantitative counting templates (QCT) platform that powers UNITY. The new round of funding will further accelerate the process.
“We have been BillionToOne’s investor since early 2019. Even under the pandemic conditions, BillionToOne team has executed its strategy extremely well, leading to incredible growth in its core prenatal business. With the application of its powerful technology to liquid biopsy, we believe BillionToOne will be one of the largest molecular diagnostic companies ever built,” said Firat Ileri at Hummingbird Ventures, the board member and the lead investor at BillionToOne.
Farouk Ladha, Managing Partner at Four Rivers Group, who co-led the Series B round, has added, “We are excited to partner with the BillionToOne team and support BillionToOne and its team to continue to grow to serve the surging demand from clinicians in the US and overseas.”
“BillionToOne is a model example of our thesis of investing in technologies that stretch the imagination,” said Swaroop Kolluri, Managing Director at Neotribe Ventures and board member at BillionToOne. “As an early-stage investor in BillionToOne, we were able to see how rapidly their deep-tech platform has started to revolutionize prenatal care. We believe that BillionToOne will continue to create a new category of powerful and accurate molecular diagnostics across multiple fields.”
BillionToOne, headquartered in Menlo Park, California, is a precision diagnostics company with a mission to make molecular diagnostics more accurate, efficient, and accessible for all. The company’s patent-pending QCT molecular counter platform is the only technology platform that can accurately count DNA molecules at the single-count level. BillionToOne’s flagship product, UNITY, is the first and only noninvasive prenatal screening that tests fetal cell-free DNA for cystic fibrosis (CF), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), and hemoglobinopathies through maternal blood. BillionToOne was co-founded by Oguzhan Atay, Ph.D. and David Tsao, Ph.D. For more information, visit www.billiontoone.com.
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Source: BillionToOne Inc.