Precision Biopsy Raises $33.6M for Prostate Tissue Biopsy System
AURORA, Colo., Oct. 6, 2015 — Precision Biopsy LLC has raised $33.6 million in new equity investments to commercialize a biopsy system that performs spectral analysis of prostate tissue.
The company’s ClariCore system is designed to provide accurate, real-time classification of prostate tissue during biopsies. The funds will also accelerate development of the company's focal therapy program, which seeks to provide targeted, localized therapy to the prostate gland by using the same optical tissue-targeting technology found in the ClariCore system. The financing was led by Woodford Investment Management LLP.
"We believe that the ClariCore system will help to improve the diagnostic process for millions of patients who undergo biopsy procedures each year to monitor for prostate cancer, the second-most deadly cancer in men after lung cancer," said Precision Biopsy CEO Amir Tehrani.
The device performs spectral analysis during biopsy to rapidly classify tissue as normal or suspicious. Equipped with an optical fiber and companion console, ClariCore provides in vivo tissue classification that seeks to minimize the number of core samples taken by 90 percent while offering actionable diagnostic information.
The company's focal therapy program aims to reduce complications and improve outcomes for prostate cancer patients. The use of focal therapy has traditionally been limited because of an inability to identify the location of a tumor or its spread within the prostate gland.
Precision Biopsy plans to offer 3D mapping of prostate tissue for better insight into cancerous areas. This would give urologists the ability to treat patients in one session, potentially reducing the need for radical prostatectomy procedures and preserving healthy tissue.
More than 2 million men worldwide undergo transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)-guided prostate biopsies each year due to various risk factors, including elevated prostate-specific antigen levels, physical exam abnormalities and family history. Fewer than 10 percent of the 12 million analyzed biopsy core samples come back positive for cancer, at a cost of nearly $1 billion dollars in the U.S. alone.
TRUS-guided prostate biopsies, meanwhile, miss as much as 30 percent of cancers that require therapy. Reducing that error rate could have measurable impact, according to Precision Biopsy. About 28,000 men die in the U.S. each year from prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
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