Caris Life Sciences Closes Whopping $830 Million Growth Equity Round

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Texas-based Caris Life Sciences secured a massive $830 million from a growth equity round, one of the largest capital raises in precision medicine. The company has raised approximately $1.3 billion in external financing over the past three years, including $310 million in 2020.

The financing will provide strategic capital for Caris as it focuses on continued commercial expansion and investment in the company’s first-in-class liquid biopsy platform. 

Caris Life Sciences develops molecular profiling assays for oncology that scans DNA, RNA, and proteins to reveal a molecular blueprint to help physicians determine the best course of treatment for cancer patients. The company’s approach provides oncologists the ability to use whole-genome sequencing, whole transcriptome sequencing, and protein analysis to assess all 22,000 genes in DNA and RNA. 

The company’s plans for a liquid biopsy platform would provide high concordance to tissue across different modalities, including therapy selection, recurrence monitoring, and early screening across all cancer types. 

Chief Executive Officer David D. Halbert, who also serves as chairman of the board, said oncology patients are at the center of everything the company does. With the $830 million funding, Halbert said Caris Life Sciences will bring its technology to as many patients as possible, and could reinvent cancer care.

“We plan to unlock the full potential of precision medicine through comprehensive interrogation of cancer at the molecular level. This will allow the delivery of transformative applications of molecular science, including the launch of our early detection (stage 1 and stage 2) blood-based pan-cancer test, providing results for every patient with no non-shedders,” Halbert said in a statement. 

The financing round was investment firm Sixth Street, a longtime investor in Caris. Since 2018, Sixth Street has played a significant role in the company’s growth. In 2018, it invested $150 million in the form of growth debt. Last year the company participated in the company’s raise and invested an additional $75 million in growth debt financing.

T.Rowe Price Associates, Silver Lake, Fidelity Management & Research Company, and Coatue also played a significant role in the round. Additional investors included Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Millennium Management, Neuberger Berman Funds, Highland Capital Management, Rock Springs Capital, OrbiMed, ClearBridge Investments, Tudor Investment Corporation, Eaton Vance Equity (Morgan Stanley), Pure Vida Investments, and First Light Asset Management.

“Since our original investment in 2018, Caris has steadily advanced its position as the market-leading precision medicine company by continuing to advance innovative product development and pursuing new initiatives in blood-based molecular science profiling, while expanding the application of its artificial intelligence platform,” Vijay Mohan, co-founding Partner at Sixth Street and Caris Board Member said in a statement.

Caris isn’t the only company in the Lone Star Bio Hotbed to announce financing news. Houston-based Sporos Bioventures raised $38.1 million in a Series A financing round last week. The startup focuses on breakthroughs in cancer and immune-related diseases. The company launched with four subsidiary companies under its umbrella, which Sporos said were each founded based on truly novel mechanisms governing cancer and immune disease. Sporos’ most advanced company, Tvardi, is developing small molecule inhibitors to STAT3, a critical regulatory protein integral to the survival and immune evasion of cancer cells as well as to the pathogenesis of many inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. Sporos will use the Series A proceeds to support the development of lead assets across its portfolio and build out the team.

In Sugar Land, Texas, QuVa Pharma completed a $275 million financing round, which will enable the company to meet the needs of its approximately 2,000 hospital customers, add more hospitals to the platform, and expand its 200 SKU product portfolio.

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