San Antonoio — BioAffinity, the maker of a cancer diagnostic test, has added Peter Knight, who was the chief of staff for Al Gore when he was in Congress, to its board of directors and is in the process of raising a $5 million Series B round of funding, according to CEO Maria Zannes.
The San Antonio-based company plans to use the new financing to commercialize its diagnostic, CyPath, for lung cancer in the U.S. and the European Union. CyPath is a noninvasive test that analyzes sputum—mucus from deep in the lung—for cancer cells. The company uses a compound that binds to cancer cells and flouresces, helping bioAffinity detect cancer in the lungs, Zannes wrote in an e-mail. The company is also developing tests for prostate and bladder cancers.
BioAffinity is currently performing validation trials on its device for detecting lung cancer, and plans to seek certification for the device as a Laboratory Developed Test, a type of device that is used in a single laboratory and generally not required to undergo premarket review and testing by the FDA.
The $5 million in new funding will also go toward bioAffinity’s attempt to develop therapeutics, OncoSelect Therapeutics. That work is based on the knowledge of how and why bioAffinity’s diagnostic compound is selectively taken up by cancer cells, Zannes wrote in response to a query from Xconomy
“Our research has revealed novel approaches to cancer treatment that we patented last year and continue to expand,” Zanes wrote.
Knight, the new board member, was a founding partner of Generation Investment Management, a sustainability-focused investment firm in London and San Francisco, along with Gore and a few other partners. Gore remains the chairman of Generation. Knight left his role overseeing the firm’s U.S. business in December, according to bioAffinity. Other than his roles at Generation and in government, Knight also worked for the Justice Department and as the general counsel for Bridgewater, NJ-based Medicis Pharmaceutical.
Knight was on the board of Healthworld, a healthcare-focused marketing company that was founded by Steve Girgenti, who is now BioAffinity’s executive chairman, Zannes wrote.
BioAffinity had previously raised $9 million in financing, Zannes wrote.