Life Science Startup TwinStrand Raises $50 Million to Boost Adoption of Its Duplex Sequencing Technology

By Mariliana Fotopoulou Thursday, May 6, 2021

TwinStrand Biosciences, a biotech startup company that works to identify ultra-low frequency genomic variants that are undetectable by conventional methods, announced it secured $50 million in fresh business funding from Section 32, a venture capital (VC) fund focused on biotechnology, healthcare, and life science.

3D rendering of a DNA strand.

Further Enhancing its Duplex Sequencing Technology

TwinStrand also welcomed Soleus Capital and Janus Henderson as its new business investors. Existing investors, including Madrona Venture Group, Ridgeback Capital, and Alexandria Venture Investments, also participated in the funding round.

The gene-sequencing startup has now raised more than $70 million in total business funding, as it previously raised $16 million in January last year, in a financing round led by Madrona. Jesse Salk, CEO, chief scientific officer, and co-founder of TwinStrand Biosciences, commented:

“This financing is a rewarding milestone in our growth as a company and a true testament to our team’s perseverance in a challenging year. In addition to the commercial launch of our first products, and the build out of our clinical lab, 2020 marked an important milestone in the validation of our expanding intellectual property portfolio as we closed a major deal in liquid biopsy to kick off our out-licensing program.”

The biotech startup company says it will use the fresh capital to boost the adoption of its Duplex Sequencing technology and increase the number of its use cases. Basically, Duplex Sequencing is meant to boost the existing technology by separately sequencing both strands of DNA and then compare the results to address inaccuracies.

TwinStrand develops gene sequencing and analyzing sequencing technology to look for “genetic needles in the haystack,” the startup company said. The biotech business designs solutions that are used to detect early cancer cells and cells that survive cancer treatments.

The technology can also detect cancer recurrence, be used in sophisticated cellular immunotherapies and tests for certain drugs and chemicals to find out if they could prompt mutations in human cells. According to the biotech company, Duplex Sequencing is able to spot cancer cells before symptoms start to show because it identifies rare and ultra-low-frequency DNA mutations with high accuracy.

The startup business was founded in 2015 in Seattle, Washington, and currently has 50 employees. The biotech startup plans to double that figure by the end of the year. Last year, TwinStrand rolled out its first commercial products and inked a business deal with Foundation Medicine, the provider of biopsy analysis that incorporates TwinStrand’s technology into those tests.

TwinStrand said it plans to strike more similar licensing business deals, which are expected to be announced later in 2021.

Dr. Michael Pellini, a partner at Section 32 and former chief executive of Foundation Medicine, is set to join TwinStrand’s board of directors following the latest funding round.

“TwinStrand’s technology platform is delivering a new level of sensitivity, clarity, and accuracy to the exploration of genomic variation,” said Dr. Pellini.

Summary

Healthcare and life science startup TwinStrand closed a $50 million funding round led by Section 32 VC fund. The biotech company said it would use the raised business proceeds to increase the adoption of its Duplex Sequencing technology.

About the Author


Headshot of Mariliana Fotopoulou

Mariliana has an MSC in Consumer Analytics and Business Strategy. She has a special interest in fast-moving industries and Big Data.

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