Foundation Medicine, a Cambridge Mass.-based molecular information company, has expanded its Series B financing, raising an additional $13.5 million and bringing the total raised in the round to $56 million. The new investors include Bill Gates, Evan Jones and Yuri Milner.
"Advances in understanding the human genome are having a dramatic impact on almost every area of medicine," said Bill Gates. "Foundation Medicine's approach in harnessing the power of genomic data to improve care for cancer patients could represent an extremely important step forward in improving routine cancer care. I'm happy to be supporting this quite promising approach."
The proceeds from the expanded Series B financing will help Foundation Medicine continue to expand commercial operations and clinical trials, scale laboratory capabilities and develop additional genomic profiling and information services.
"Bill Gates, Evan Jones and Yuri Milner have each driven the widespread adoption of innovations that continue to impact the lives of millions of people," said Michael J. Pellini, M.D., president and CEO of Foundation Medicine. "This innovation is critically important in healthcare and medicine, which often lag behind in the adoption of new information technology. We are proud that these individuals support the mission of Foundation Medicine as we continue to bring advanced cancer genomics into everyday clinical practice."
Foundation Medicine's first product, FoundationOne, is a genomic assay for all solid tumors that analyzes tumor DNA and provides a concise report to help physicians match patients with the targeted drugs or clinical trials best suited for their unique cancer. Launched in June 2012, FoundationOne has been ordered by more than 700 oncologists from 21 countries.
This second closing for the Series B financing follows the first closing completed on September 10, 2012. The first closing attracted a number of new investors, including public crossover funds Deerfield Management, Casdin Capital, Redmile Group and one undisclosed investor and strategic investors Roche Venture Fund, WuXi Corporate Venture Fund and Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings. These investors joined founding investor Third Rock Ventures and previous venture capital backers Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
In addition, Foundation Medicine announced that Evan Jones has been nominated to join Foundation Medicine's board of directors. Jones is the managing member of jVen Capital and previously was the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Digene.