Freenome, the health technology company reinventing disease management through systematized early detection and intervention, announced today that it has raised $65 million USD in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Seed investors Andreessen Horowitz, Data Collective (DCVC), and Founders Fund also contributed to this Series A round, and are joined by GV (Google Ventures), Polaris Partners, Innovation Endeavors, Asset Management Ventures, Charles River Ventures and Spectrum 28. Andreessen Horowitz General Partner Vijay Pande will also be joining Freenome’s Board.
Since 2014, Freenome has been using a combination of machine learning, biology and computer science to create simple and effective disease screenings. To date, the company has collaborated with 25 research partners around the world – including Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health (UCSD), University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) – and have gathered and processed thousands of samples through their active clinical trials. Freenome has also partnered with five pharmaceutical companies to assess generalizability of their software to other questions in oncology such as pre-treatment drug response prediction.
“Our goal is to bringing accurate, accessible and non-invasive disease screenings to doctors to proactively treat cancer and other diseases at their most manageable stages,“ said Freenome co-founder Gabe Otte. “This funding will allow us to increase the number of clinical trials in collaboration with top researchers and clinicians around the world, enabling us to bring our product to market more quickly and equip people with knowledge and tools to live healthier lives.”
Freenome raised $5.5M USD in 2016 to prove the potential of its technology. Through machine learning, the team discovered signatures independent of traditional mutation calling, such as immunological and metabolic changes in cell-free DNA and other analytes, that are more robust for early cancer detection and allow for a cost-effective assay. Freenome is currently focused on scaling technology and accuracy of screenings for four types of cancer – lung, colorectal, breast and prostate – with plans to address other forms of cancer and diseases. This Series A funding will be used to expand clinical trials, accelerate research and bring their disease screenings to market.
“There are many drugs and surgical techniques to cure patients of cancer –– if the cancer is caught early. While tests to detect cancer early exist, they are not sufficiently accurate, and are riddled with false positives and false negatives,” said Andreessen Horowitz General Partner and Freenome Board member, Vijay Pande. “Freenome’s machine learning-driven approach and impressively accurate results from blinded trials make them the right team to swing the pendulum toward a new era of prevention.”