Metamark Genetics Raises $22M to Find Genetic Signs of Tumor Progression

Xconomy Boston — 

Metamark Genetics has new funding to find which tumors are deadly and poised to spread out of control. The startup, which is commercializing technology discovered at Harvard Medical School, said today it has closed a $22 million Series B round of financing. Its lead investor in the round has agreed to chip in an additional $8 million if the firm reaches an undisclosed goal.

The company, which lists a Naples, FL, address in this regulatory disclosure of the financing, says on its website that it’s in the process of relocating its headquarters to Cambridge, MA. Eric Devroe, the firm’s senior director of operations, said in an e-mail that the company is finalizing a lease on a lab in Cambridge and expects to occupy the space within the next few weeks.

Metamark, which previously raised $4.7 million, declined to disclose who invested in its second-round financing. The deal could ultimately be worth as much as $42.1 million, according to the regulatory filing. Perseus, a merchant bank and private equity firm based in Washington, DC, is represented on Metamark’s board of directors. Kenneth Weg, who was chairman of Millennium Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge until Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Company bought the Millennium in 2008 for $8.8 billion, is a co-founder and acting CEO at Metamark. Weg is also a former president of the worldwide medicines group at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Metamark is developing a diagnostics to identify genetic markers and quantify other drivers of tumor progression, like molecules that show whether a tumor is destined to spread to other organs. It was founded in 2007 based on the research of Harvard Medical School dermatology professor Lynda Chin, who has a lab at the renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. The founding team also includes other notable names, including Raju Kucherlapati, the Harvard Medical School professor and co-founder of Cell Genesys, Abgenix, and Millennium; and Ronald DePinho, another Harvard Medical School professor and co-founder of Cambridge-based Aveo Pharmaceuticals.