Two Strategic Healthcare Companies Join Investment Round
Key Scientific Publication in Obstetrics & Gynecology Shows Sera is the Leading Authority in Assessing Preterm Birth Risk
SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sera Prognostics, Inc. (“Sera” or the “Company”), the leading health diagnostics company dedicated to improving the lives of women and babies through individualized prenatal care, today announced it has raised $36 million in Series D financing. Blue Ox Healthcare Partners (“Blue Ox”), an investment firm providing growth capital to healthcare companies targeting individuality and value-based care, led the investment round alongside two strategic healthcare companies.
Proceeds from the Series D financing will be used to increase commercialization of Sera’s PreTRM® test and to measure real-world clinical improvements and economic savings in collaboration with top health plans and providers.
Sera’s products focus on the early prediction of a woman’s individualized risk of preterm birth and other pregnancy complications. The Company’s PreTRM® test is the only clinically-validated, commercially available biomarker blood test to accurately assess a woman’s individualized risk of premature delivery. The PreTRM® test enables earlier, more proactive clinical decisions designed to prolong gestation, improve the health of the baby and lower healthcare costs. As evidenced by a key scientific publication recently released online in Obstetrics & Gynecology (December 2019; volume 134, issue 6), Sera is the leading authority in biomarker preterm birth risk prediction.
“Preterm birth – the leading cause of infant mortality – is an unaddressed global crisis, accounting for over $30 billion in excess annual spending in the U.S. alone. Blue Ox’s investment in Sera is a testament to the industry’s confidence in PreTRM® and Sera’s mission of improving the health of pregnant women and newborns while reducing the cost of treatments for premature birth,” said Gregory C. Critchfield, MD, MS, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sera. “We are thrilled to have innovative healthcare investor Blue Ox, a major U.S. healthcare company, and an international diagnostics manufacturer join our strong investor syndicate, and look forward to leveraging their combined strategic, financial, operational and healthcare industry expertise as we commercialize personalized medicine innovations in pregnancy care and scale our business.”
“Sera’s leading-edge platform reflects healthcare’s move towards individualized, value-based care and underscores Blue Ox’s commitment to supporting companies targeting this transformation and poised for tremendous growth. Sera’s PreTRM® test is revolutionizing pregnancy care by accurately identifying a woman’s individualized risk for preterm birth and supporting better outcomes at lower costs,” added Charles D. Kennedy, MD, Managing Partner at Blue Ox. “Importantly, PreTRM® is the only commercially available blood test that arms practitioners with critical risk information they need to identify and treat patients at elevated risk of premature delivery using proactive interventions and guideline-based therapies. As a result, we believe PreTRM® will be the go-to solution for commercial plans, Medicaid programs, employers and risk-based providers seeking to effectively manage the clinical and economic epidemic of preterm birth. We are pleased to support Sera at this pivotal point in its evolution.”
Existing investors Domain Associates, InterWest Partners, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, Catalyst Health Ventures, and Chione Ltd also participated in the Series D investment round.
About Blue Ox Healthcare Partners, LLC
Blue Ox Healthcare Partners, LLC is a private equity investment firm focused on providing capital to growth stage healthcare companies targeting the industry’s transformation to individuality and value-based care. Blue Ox targets emerging companies in the middle market with commercial products and solutions in healthcare services, HCIT, and medical and life sciences technologies, whose innovations, strategies and operations are poised for growth. The Firm invests in companies where it believes its team’s operational expertise and deep healthcare industry experience can be leveraged to a company’s long-term benefit. For additional information, please visit www.blueoxhcp.com.
About Preterm Birth
According to the March of Dimes, globally preterm birth affects 15 million infants each year, with 1 million deaths occurring from prematurity. Of nearly 4 million babies born annually in the U.S., approximately one in ten is born prematurely.1 Preterm birth is defined as any birth before 37 weeks gestation and is the leading cause of illness and death in newborns. Prematurity is associated with a significantly increased risk of major long-term medical complications, including learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, chronic respiratory illness, intellectual disability, seizures, and vision and hearing loss, and can generate significant costs throughout the lives of affected children. Approximately $32B of expense occurs annually in the U.S. as a result of premature birth.2
About the PreTRM® Test
The PreTRM® test is the only clinically-validated blood test that provides an early and individual risk prediction for spontaneous preterm birth in asymptomatic, singleton pregnancies. The PreTRM® test measures and analyzes proteins in the blood that are highly predictive of preterm birth. The PreTRM® test can help physicians identify early in the pregnancy (as early as 19 weeks of gestation) which women are at increased risk for premature delivery, enabling more informed clinical decisions based on each woman’s individual risk. The PreTRM® test is ordered by a medical professional. For more information about the PreTRM® test, please visit www.PreTRM.com and the PreTRM® test YouTube Channel. You can also join the conversation on Facebook and @PreTRM.
About Sera Prognostics, Inc.
Sera Prognostics is the leading health diagnostics company dedicated to improving the lives of women and babies through individualized prenatal care. Sera delivers pivotal information to physicians to improve health and the economics of healthcare delivery for pregnant women. Sera is developing innovative diagnostic tests focused on the early prediction of preterm birth risk and other complications of pregnancy. Sera’s PreTRM® test objectively reports to a physician the risk of a woman’s premature delivery, enabling earlier proactive interventions designed to prolong gestation and improve the health of her baby. Sera’s strong management team has significant clinical development and women’s healthcare diagnostic experience. Sera Prognostics is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.seraprognostics.com.
2 Caughey et al, Am J Perinatol Rep 2016;6:e407-e416