ArcherDX Raises $55M to Help Physicians Pick Best Cancer Therapies

Xconomy Boulder/Denver — 

2020 will be a big year for ArcherDX, says its CEO on the heels of raising $55 million to advance its companion diagnostics platform—which is intended to make precision medicine an option for patients in earlier stages of disease.

Headquartered in Boulder, CO, the company will use the Series C funds to expand its global footprint and support the registration and launch of its solid tumor companion diagnostic, Stratafide.

The FDA in January granted the company breakthrough designation for the device, which identifies genetic mutations via tissue or blood samples, enabling physicians to select the most appropriate targeted therapy or late-stage investigational drug for a patient, says ArcherDX CEO and co-founder Jason Myers.

“The impetus on testing is increasing a lot because of the availability and number of targeted therapies that are being brought to market,” he tells Xconomy. “Now, we’re at tens of therapies [so] you need a very efficient way to get this holistic view of the patient’s genetic information to select a therapy.”

Part of this efficiency, Myers says, is that tissue and blood samples can be analyzed at the point of care, instead of being sent to a centralized lab at a different location.

The funds also will help ArcherDX advance its “Personalized Cancer Monitoring” platform, which the company says improves the detection of minimal residual disease in early-stage cancer patients who are often treated with surgery in combination with chemotherapy or radiation.

“What we’re learning in this solid tumor space, is that if you can find a cost-effective and non-invasive method to monitor their disease status you can actually treat them better,” explains Myers.

Using molecular diagnostics, Myers says the company will be able to “push precision oncology into the early-stage setting” and improve patient care. “It’s a big year for us to prove we can do that,” he notes, adding that ArcherDX will initially target lung cancer.

The company was founded in early 2013 with less than $1 million in angel funding before being acquired in September of the same year by Enzymatics. The deal was reportedly potentially worth up to $50 million. ArcherDX spun out from its owner in 2015 when Enzymatics was bought by Qiagen (NYSE: QGEN).

ArcherDx’s R&D site in Boulder was staffed with about 15 to 20 people in September 2013—but will be closing out 2020 with nearly 300 employees. Myers says the headcount doubled over the last year following a series of deals, including its Series B round which brought in $60 million in May.

The company earlier this month inked a non-exclusive partnership with Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN) to develop in-vitro diagnostic tests for its next-generation sequencing-based companion diagnostics. In July, ArcherDX also announced a strategic deal to develop companion diagnostic (CDx) tests in collaboration with Ayala Pharmaceuticals.

The company’s Series C round was led by Perceptive Advisors. New investors Redmile Group, Soleus Capital, Driehaus Capital Management, and ArrowMark Partners joined existing investors Sands Capital, Longwood Fund, PBM Capital and its affiliates, Boulder Ventures, among others.

Perceptive Advisors also led Archer’s Series B round, which included participation from PBM Capital, Boulder Ventures, Longwood Fund, and Peierls Foundation.

(Main photo by Will Porada on Unsplash)