Helmed by Affymetrix (Santa Clara, California)-Illumina Alum, Bay Area Startup Cirina Emerges With $12 Million to Develop Noninvasive Tests for Early Cancer Screening
Published: Oct 25, 2016
Company appoints Maneesh Jain as CEO, secures financing, expands facility, and continues hiring top talent
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cirina Inc., a pioneer in blood-plasma tests for early detection of deadly diseases, today named Maneesh Jain, PhD, its CEO, and announced the completion of Series A financing, and the expansion of its headquarters. The company was co-founded in 2014 by the world-renowned plasma nucleic acid scientist, Dennis Lo, DM, DPhil. Cirina is applying his life-long work and utilizing his expertise to develop products that will enable clinicians to confidently diagnose various forms of cancer and other deadly diseases at their earliest stages, empowering people to take action when curative treatment is still viable.
“Dennis Lo’s profound discoveries, seminal publications, and numerous innovative contributions over the past 20 years have established him as the thought leader in the field. Together, our team is unlocking a new era of precision medicine that will transform the way we detect, treat, and ultimately, cure these devastating diseases.”
“I have seen first-hand that early detection of diseases like cancer can be the difference between life and death,” said Dr. Jain. “Dennis Lo’s profound discoveries, seminal publications, and numerous innovative contributions over the past 20 years have established him as the thought leader in the field. Together, our team is unlocking a new era of precision medicine that will transform the way we detect, treat, and ultimately, cure these devastating diseases.”
Proven Leadership Team
Cirina’s leadership team combines an established track record of scientific and entrepreneurial success. Co-founder, Dennis Lo, was the first scientist to discover the presence of fetal DNA in a pregnant mother’s blood-plasma. He has been recognized with several prestigious awards for his numerous discoveries and lifetime of contributions to the field. He was recently named a 2016 Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate in recognition of the high citations of his research work that rank him in the top 0.1 percent of his field worldwide. He also received the 2016 Future Science Prize in Life Science for all of his contributions to the field of noninvasive blood-based diagnoses.
After spending his career developing, commercializing, and driving the widespread adoption of many important genomic products, Cirina CEO, Maneesh Jain, is now focused on maximizing their societal impact. He is a Caltech and Stanford-trained entrepreneur with early/founding roles in successful genomics companies like ParAllele, Auriphex, and Ion Torrent, followed by senior executive roles, post-merger and acquisition, at Affymetrix, Illumina, and Life Technologies. He most recently served as President and COO of Butterfly Network, a disruptive medical imaging company, where he helped raise more than $100M in financing.
Financing and Facility Expansion
In the past year, Cirina closed a $12 million Series A financing round, expanded to its 10,000 square foot headquarters in South San Francisco, and has been actively hiring top talents in the field. The investment was led by Min Cui, PhD, Founding Partner and Managing Director of Decheng Capital. His recent investments include Ion Torrent and GeneWeave.
“I have tremendous respect for Maneesh’s entrepreneurial and leadership abilities from our past experiences,” said Dr. Cui. “Cirina’s team, inspired by Prof. Dennis Lo’s thought leadership, is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the enormous market opportunities created by the recent medical and technological advances in this field.”
Cirina is developing innovative blood-plasma tests to detect deadly diseases at their earliest stages when curative treatments are most viable. The company is driven by the passion and life-long work of Co-founder and plasma nucleic acid pioneer, Dennis Lo, the first scientist to discover the presence of fetal DNA in a pregnant mother’s blood-plasma. Headquartered in South San Francisco, Calif., Cirina is currently actively recruiting top scientific and business talent to join its quest to detect devastating diseases like cancer at their earliest stages and empower people to take action. For more information, please visit www.cirina.com.