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Good Start Genetics, Inc. Raises $18 Million to Develop and Launch Sequencing-Based Pre-Pregnancy Genetic Screening Test  
9/10/2010 7:00:17 AM

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Good Start Genetics, Inc., today announced the completion of an $18 million Series A financing. The proceeds of this financing will be used to complete the development and launch of the Company’s pre-pregnancy genetic test, which utilizes advanced DNA sequencing technology to screen for a panel of genetic disorders including those recommended by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG). The financing was led by OrbiMed Advisors, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE - News) and SV Life Sciences.

The Company also announced that Don Hardison, former COO of LabCorp and CEO of Exact Sciences, has been appointed President, CEO and Director of the Company. Good Start Genetics’ Board of Directors is chaired by Marc Beer, former CEO of ViaCell, and also includes Robert Carpenter, Director of the Genzyme Corporation; Carl Gordon, General Partner at OrbiMed Advisors; Gary Kurtzman, Managing Director at Safeguard Scientifics; and Lutz Giebel, Managing Partner at SV Life Sciences.

Good Start Genetics’ advanced DNA sequencing technology is designed to deliver a higher detection rate and improved clinical performance compared to currently available screening methods, such as genotyping and SNP analysis. Higher detection rates provide physicians with more accurate results and more clinically relevant genetic information. The Good Start Genetics test will allow physicians to better identify carriers of heritable genetic disorders, enabling physicians to help prospective parents make more knowledgeable medical decisions. The Company expects to launch its test exclusively through board certified physicians in the U.S. starting in 2011.

“We expect this test to be widely adopted as the new clinical standard of care for pre-pregnancy genetic screening,” said Marc Beer, Chairman of the Board of Good Start Genetics. “The diagnostic industry demands tools that provide physicians with highly accurate genetic information that is clinically valuable for individual patients. Under the leadership of Don Hardison, Good Start Genetics has the technology, experience and vision to make this goal a reality.”

Unlike other companies, which offer their tests online or direct-to-consumers, Good Start Genetics will offer its test exclusively through board certified physicians in a clinical setting. “It is our belief that the only way to make these truly important decisions is under the professional guidance of a physician, who can evaluate genetic information in the context of a patient’s comprehensive medical profile,” commented Mr. Hardison. “Good Start Genetics is moving beyond the existing one-size-fits-all genetic testing paradigm because we believe that genetic information is a critical and a completely individual aspect of healthcare. Our product will allow physicians to select from a broad panel of disorders, and customize their test order to meet the individual screening needs of each prospective parent.”

Don Hardison is a clinical diagnostic industry leader with over 28 years of management and commercial experience. Prior to joining Good Start Genetics, Mr. Hardison was an Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Laboratory Corporation of America. Previously, Don served as President and Chief Executive Officer at EXACT Sciences, an applied genomics and biotechnology company focused on the early detection of cancer. He has also held leadership roles at SmithKline Beecham Corporation and Quest Diagnostics.

Good Start Genetics received initial seed financing from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s Accelerator Program.

About Good Start Genetics, Inc.

Good Start Genetics provides the most clinically relevant genetic information to physicians. The Company’s affordable pre-pregnancy test, which was developed by the Company for use in its CLIA-certified laboratory, utilizes an advanced DNA sequencing technology to screen for a panel of genetic disorders including those recommended by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG). For more information, please visit www.goodstartgenetics.com.

About OrbiMed

OrbiMed is a preeminent investment firm dedicated exclusively to the healthcare sector, with over $5 billion in assets under management. OrbiMed invests across the entire spectrum of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies on a worldwide basis. Investments are made through venture capital funds, hedge funds, and other investment vehicles. For more information, please visit www.orbimed.com.

About Safeguard Scientifics, Inc.

Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE - News) provides growth capital for entrepreneurial and innovative life sciences and technology companies. Safeguard targets life sciences companies in molecular and point-of-care diagnostics, medical devices, regenerative medicine, and specialty pharmaceuticals. Safeguard participates in expansion financings, corporate spin-outs, management buyouts, recapitalizations, industry consolidations and early-stage financings. For more information, please visit www.safeguard.com.

About SV Life Sciences

SV Life Sciences is a venture capital adviser and manager that makes selected investments in businesses with experienced entrepreneurs and management teams. SV Life Sciences provides financing to businesses at all stages of development and across the human life sciences sector. These sectors range from biotechnology and pharmaceuticals to medical devices and instruments, to healthcare information technology and services. For more information, please visit www.svlsa.com.

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