Allegro Diagnostics Closes $4 Million Round to Develop and Commercialize Lung Cancer Molecular Diagnostics Based on Gene Expression
Jerome Brody, MD Joins Company as Chief Scientific Officer
BOSTON (March 7, 2008) – Allegro Diagnostics, a leader in the field of molecular diagnostics for lung cancer, has announced completion of $4 million in Series A financing. Kodiak Venture Partners led the round and was joined by Catalyst Health Ventures and Boston University. Allegro Diagnostics will develop and commercialize products based on gene expression technology developed by Jerome Brody, MD and Avrum Spira, MD, MSc within the Pulmonary Center at the Boston University School of Medicine. Jerome Brody, MD, formerly head of the Pulmonary Center, has joined Allegro Diagnostics as the company’s Chief Scientific Officer.
“We are truly fortunate to have a team with world class science and financial backing from outstanding venture partners,” said Dan Rippy, President and CEO of Allegro Diagnostics. “The Series A financing will enable us to take our first product, based on intellectual property developed at the Boston University School of Medicine, into the clinic to provide earlier, more accurate diagnosis of suspected lung cancer for patients and their doctors. The clinical community considers earlier identification of lung cancer a major unmet need in treating the disease, so our diagnostic should provide significant benefit.”
In conjunction with the financing, Andrey Zarur, General Partner with Kodiak Venture Partners, and Josh Phillips, General Partner with Catalyst Health Ventures, joined the company’s board of directors. “Allegro opens a novel alternative to assist physicians in diagnosing and potentially treating lung cancer,” said Andrey Zarur, who became Chairman of the company as part of this round of financing. “Kodiak is very excited to join the world-leading scientists and first-class entrepreneurial team at Allegro.”
“Catalyst is pleased to participate in the exciting work Allegro is furthering in the diagnosis of lung cancer,” said Josh Phillips, General Partner with Catalyst Health Ventures. “Allegro’s technology is extremely promising and has the potential to bring real value to patients by providing earlier, more accurate, and less invasive diagnosis of this devastating disease.”
About Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the industrialized world, responsible for more than 1.3 million deaths per year worldwide. In the U.S., lung cancer kills more people than colon, breast, prostate, and ovarian cancers combined. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 200,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S., and more than 160,000 deaths occur annually from the disease. While lung cancer can be cured by surgery if caught in the early stages, 65-80% of lung cancer patients present with late stage disease. The five-year survival rate for lung cancer patients is roughly 15%, a rate that has remained unchanged for several decades.
About Allegro Diagnostics
Allegro Diagnostics was founded in 2006 to develop and commercialize molecular diagnostics in lung cancer and other epithelial diseases using proprietary gene expression technology originating within the Pulmonary Center at the Boston University School of Medicine. The company will initially focus on more accurate diagnosis of early stage lung cancer. Allegro Diagnostics is privately funded by Kodiak Venture Partners, Catalyst Health Ventures, and Boston University. For more information, visit the website of Allegro Diagnostics at: www.allegrodx.com.
About Kodiak Venture Partners
Founded in 1999, Kodiak manages three funds totaling $676M and targets companies in North America. Kodiak focuses on seed and early stage investments in emerging communications/wireless, semiconductor/equipment, software/services, internet/new media, and life technology companies. Kodiak’s partners are successful high-technology business entrepreneurs who take a hands-on approach to building market leaders. Previous Kodiak investments have included ALIS Corporation, Fluxion Biosciences, and Groove Mobile. For more information on Kodiak Venture Partners, visit: www.kodiakvp.com.
About Catalyst Health Ventures
Catalyst Health Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm targeting technology solutions applied within the health care and life science industries. At the core of its strategy is a committed, hands-on approach to working with management and syndicate partners to build successful companies. Our disciplined investment process leverages both intellectual and financial capital to originate deals, cultivate opportunities, and realize the full potential of emerging ventures in the health care and life science marketplace. For more information on Catalyst Health Ventures, visit: www.catalysthealthventures.com