Toronto-based biotechnology startup Adela has launched with a $60 million Series A financing. F-Prime led the round, with participation from OrbiMed, Deerfield Management, Decheng Capital and RA Capital Management. Adela is focused on detecting cancer and other high-morbidity, high-mortality conditions through blood tests.
TORONTO, June 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Adela (formerly DNAMx) has launched with $60 million USD in Series A financing to enable the detection of cancer and other high-morbidity, high-mortality conditions through a blood test that harnesses the potential of the methylome. Adela’s genome-wide methylation enrichment technology offers the potential to detect many diseases with a single assay at scale, with best-in-class performance.
Adela’s Series A financing round was led by F-Prime Capital with OrbiMed, Deerfield Management, Decheng Capital, and RA Capital Management participating.
“With the next generation methylation technology, Adela’s technology represents a major breakthrough in the early detection of cancer that has the potential to save many lives,” said Robert Weisskoff, PhD, Partner at F-Prime.
The DNA methylome is a rich source of information about human disease, and methylation platforms have emerged as the leading technology for the early detection of cancer and other diseases. However, the existing approaches have been limited in their potential to comprehensively mine the methylome for small but important signals of early disease.
“The immense potential of our core technology has been demonstrated across 10 different cancer types,” said Scott Bratman, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Adela. “As opposed to competing approaches reliant upon chemical or enzymatic treatment and narrower targeted measurement of methylated DNA, we profile all methylated DNA fragments in a vial of blood in an unbiased manner. This enables us to achieve robust cancer detection as well as tissue-of-origin classification from a single blood sample.”
Adela’s proprietary platform has the unique ability to distinguish the most-highly informative (methylated) regions of the genome from non-informative regions and preferentially target those informative regions for sequencing. It was originally developed by Adela’s Chief Scientific Officer, Daniel De Carvalho, PhD, at University Health Network’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, in collaboration with investigators at Sinai Health System. In contrast to existing platforms that only tap into a subset of the methylome, Adela captures information efficiently from the entire methylome. In addition, Adela’s technology does not require bisulfite conversion which is a chemical treatment that causes loss of valuable genomic material. By homing in on genome-wide information-rich regions and preserving as much genomic material as possible, Adela’s technology has the potential to detect with unprecedented sensitivity and classify the underlying disease, including tissue of origin and histologic subtype.
“We are proud to have collaborated on the formation of Adela to commercialize the groundbreaking liquid biopsy technology invented by scientists at our Princess Margaret Cancer Centre,” said Brad Wouters, Executive Vice President, Science and Research, University Health Network. “We are thrilled to see the technology taking the next step forward towards having widespread impact on patient lives.”
Adela’s platform has been extensively evaluated and externally validated by prominent independent groups with peer-reviewed publications demonstrating its clinical feasibility and reproducibility. Data published in Nature and Nature Medicine have shown high sensitivity to detect and histologically subtype a wide range of cancers, including kidney cancer and intracranial brain tumors, both of which have been undetectable in early stages of disease using other liquid biopsy approaches. Published data also support using this platform to develop blood-based prognostic biomarkers, monitor patients with cancer through their treatment, and detect molecular residual disease afterward. Adela plans to develop its technology for use across the entire cancer continuum—for detection, diagnosis, and management of disease.
The founding members of the Adela team are pioneers in the fields of cancer detection, epigenetics, and liquid biopsy, and have built numerous, successful companies:
Scott Bratman, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer and President: Internationally recognized expert in cell-free DNA, co-inventor of CAPP-Seq liquid biopsy technology
Daniel De Carvalho, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer: World-leading scholar in cancer epigenetics, inventor of Adela’s proprietary platform
Anne-Renee Hartman, MD, Chief Medical Officer: Pioneer in the field of cancer early detection, former Head of Clinical Development & Medical Affairs at GRAIL
Todd Arnold, PhD, Chief Operating Officer: Seasoned Laboratory and R&D operations executive, former Chief Laboratory Operations Officer at Sema4
David Scheer, Board Chair: Founder, Director, and/or Chairman of more than 10 life science companies
Maneesh Jain, PhD, Board Member: CEO, Founder, and/or Director of six life science start-ups including Cirina, the first liquid biopsy company for early cancer detection
The Series A funding will support advancing Adela’s technology towards commercialization, with initial applications across the cancer care continuum from early detection to disease monitoring. In the future, the company plans to apply the technology to other disease states, leveraging the genome-wide approach to enable expansion to other conditions.
“Adela’s technology has the potential to revolutionize how we detect and diagnose disease,” said David Scheer, Board Chair and founding member of Adela. “We envision a future in which a single, accessible blood test will be part of routine care for early detection of many conditions—cancer, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune conditions—allowing for a complete transformation in how we currently detect disease. We believe that the potential global impact on reducing morbidity and mortality from such detectable diseases, by identifying and treating them earlier, is enormous.”
Adela (formerly DNAMx) is focused on the detection of cancer and other high-morbidity, high-mortality conditions through a routine blood test. The company’s genome-wide methylation analysis technology has the unique ability to distinguish the most-highly informative (methylated) regions of the genome from non-informative regions and preferentially target those informative regions for sequencing. The technology is initially being developed for use across the cancer continuum for detection, diagnosis, and management, and in the future will be applied to other conditions beyond cancer. Adela’s investors are F-Prime Capital, OrbiMed, Deerfield Management, Decheng Capital, and RA Capital Management.
Find more information at adelabio.com