A cancer treatment research company has recently secured nearly $2 billion in funding.
Caris Life Sciences announced that it had closed a “senior secured term loan providing up to $400 million in capital from OrbiMed and Braidwell,” bringing the total capital raised by the Irving-based company since 2018 to $1.7 billion.
The company said that it will use these new funds to repay any outstanding debt, cover corporate costs, and improve the entity’s research into precision medicine.
Precision medicine, also known as “personalized medicine,” tailors disease prevention and treatments to specific genes, environments, and lifestyles. Research has already been conducted to create individualized treatments for cases of obesity, a chronic disease that the CDC considers “associated with the leading causes of death, including deaths from diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.”
The Food and Drug Administration has already approved treatments like this “that are tailored to specific characteristics of individuals, such as a person’s genetic makeup, or the genetic profile of an individual’s tumor.”
Patients with cancer routinely undergo molecular testing, allowing doctors to select treatments that improve patients’ chances of survival while minimizing exposure to adverse effects. Some cancer treatments may only work for patients whose cancers have certain biomarkers, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Molecular testing has also been used for diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2.
Caris Life Sciences also partnered with Flatiron Health to increase access to molecular testing in September 2022.
David Halbert, founder and CEO of Caris Life Sciences, said in the news release that molecular testing has advanced to the point of allowing for a liquid biopsy.
“Over the past decade, Caris has continued to raise the standard for molecular testing, beginning with offering Whole Exome and Whole Transcriptome in tissue, to now offering the same in liquid biopsy,” said Halbert.
“We are making breakthroughs with artificial intelligence and machine learning that enhance and change our understanding of cancer as a disease,” said Halbert in the release.
“This additional capital will allow us to pursue that mission with even more intense focus as we invest in our technologies and product pipeline,” he continued.
“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Caris to support their advancement of molecular profiling,” said Mark Jelley, OrbiMed Partner, in a press release.
“Caris has shown the value of a comprehensive approach, and we are excited by the potential of Caris’ proprietary dataset and technology,” he continued.
The company previously paid over $2.8 million to resolve allegations of a nationwide scheme of improperly billing Medicare for laboratory tests called the “Caris Molecular Intelligence” and the “ADAPT Biotargeting System.”