$10M Private Investment Funding for ImmunArray
News Jul 13, 2016
ImmunArray, a molecular diagnostic company co-headquartered in Rehovot, Israel and Richmond, Virginia, whose novel blood tests are pioneering new and more accurate ways to diagnose autoimmune diseases such as lupus as well as traumatic brain injury (TBI), announced a Series B investment led by Exigent, a private investment firm.
“ImmunArray has made tremendous progress in developing a diagnostic platform that is demonstrating its capacity to transform how diseases and other conditions are diagnosed – with greater efficiency, higher levels of accuracy and enhanced simplicity,” said Eliezer Brender, chief investment officer, Exigent. “The company has assembled a very experienced and knowledgeable management team, a team that not only will continue to lead development efforts into new diagnostic arenas but also work to commercialize these products in the marketplace. As ImmunArray begins to drive revenue and reimbursements from insurers for their tests, this investment will serve to accelerate its progress.”
The announcement was made during a meeting yesterday with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe at Exigent’s offices. Governor McAuliffe is in Israel with his economic development team on a trade and marketing mission. The Governor has been an avid supporter of the biotech industry during his administration and was recognized by BIO (Biotechnology Innovation Organization) as the 2016 Governor of the Year for his support in making Virginia a biotech hub.
“This significant milestone for ImmunArray and Exigent is testament to the strength of the economic relationship between Virginia and Israel, as well as the innovation and energy that define our efforts to build a new Virginia economy,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “Our unique office related to economic development in Israel has helped us enhance our ties and create new growth and opportunities for the families we serve in Virginia and Israel.”
Founded in 2006, ImmunArray has developed a series of blood-based tests using its proprietary iCHIP® technology that can determine the presence of a specific set of molecular biomarkers that are linked to particular disease or condition. The company’s first commercially available test is the SLE-Key® Rule-Out Test, to definitively establish that a patient does not have Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or lupus. ImmunArray also was a grant recipient of the GE-NFL Head Health Challenge and is developing a simple test with the accuracy, sensitivity and specificity to determine whether or not a person has received a concussion or other forms of traumatic brain injury. Other tests for more chronic follow up in brain injury also are under development.
“This major investment from Exigent is not only a validation of our early work, but it also allows us to accelerate and expand our commercial infrastructure, widen our reach into lupus-related products and broaden our work into other autoimmune diseases,” said Donna Edmonds, CEO and Chairman, ImmunArray. “The funding also will help us leverage our considerable progress in the area of traumatic brain injury as we move to market on that front. We are grateful for this vote of confidence from our colleagues at Exigent and look forward to accomplishing great things together.”
Scientists have developed a way to identify the beginning of every gene — known as a translation start site or a start codon — in bacterial cell DNA with a single experiment and, through this method, they have shown that an individual gene is capable of coding for more than one protein.