Massachusetts Cancer Diagnostics Company Mitra Biotech Scores $27.4 Million

Massachusetts Cancer Diagnostics Company Mitra Biotech Scores $27.4 Million August 29, 2016
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

BOSTON – Cancer diagnostics company Mitra Biotech scored $27.4 million in Series B financing to expand the company’s CANScript service, which predicts personalized responses to cancer treatments, the company announced in a statement this morning.

Mallik Sundaram, president and co-founder of Mitra, said in a statement that the funds will allow the company to enhance its technology and launch new studies to “further demonstrate CANScript’s clinical utility.” CANScript is the company’s foray into personalized oncology medicines. It is a novel functional assay for high sensitivity assessment of tumor response to anti-cancer drugs. According to the company, the assay replicates a patient’s own tumor microenvironment in vitro and measures multiple parameters to determine whether a tumor is responding. CANScript then converts these parameters into a single score that predicts clinical response to each of the customer selected therapies. An M-Score > 25 predicts clinical response, the company said. The CANScript technology has uses across multiple phases of drug discovery and development to help “answer a number of questions that will shape a compound’s ultimate success,” the company said.

“By reliably replicating the patient tumor micro environment and associated immune-environment, CANScript is useful across drug classes, including immuno-modulators. CANScript is ideal for exploring the clinical landscape and identifying the indication that has maximal impact on target inhibition and efficacy,” the company said on its website.

Sundaram said the company will move forward with its commercial efforts in the United States. The CANScript technology has been validated with through tests on thousands of cancer patients and has demonstrated an “extremely high correlation to actual clinical response,” the company said.

Financing supporters for Mitra include new investors Sands Capital Ventures, RA Capital Management and Sequoia India. As part of the financing agreement, representatives from Sequoia and Sands will gain seats on Mitra’s board of directors. Continuing investors include Accel and Tata Capital Innovations. Mitra said this financing round “provides an exit to Series A investors KITVEN and India Innovation Fund.”

Ian Ractliffe, a Sands representative and new member of Mitra’s board of directors, praised the CANScript technology.

“CANScript has the potential to dramatically speed oncology drug discovery and development by matching compounds to their indications of highest impact,” Ratcliffe said in a statement.

Founded in 2009, Mitra Biotech is a spinout of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to a presence in Boston, the company maintains a significant research and laboratory space in Bangalore, India.

Mitra currently has a number of job opportunities listed on its website for both its Boston-area location as well as in India. Open positions include lab supervisor, research associate. Additionally the company has job listings for a director of medical affairs in Massachusetts and a director of clinical oncology in India.

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