Swift Biosciences Launches Next Phase of Company Growth and Expansion
News Jul 04, 2017
Swift Biosciences recently announced the completion of a Series D funding raise of $12.2 million. The company also announced the addition of two new directors to its board, positioning the company for accelerated growth.
Funding for Growth
The Series D round was led by Arboretum Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with follow-on investment from existing Swift investors. The funding will help fuel growth by expanding the company’s global commercial channels and enhancing its manufacturing and operational capabilities.
Aimed at revolutionizing basic and clinical research, Swift’s novel Accel-NGS™ technologies accelerate the discovery, identification and characterization of genes and the underlying genetic variation in diseases of the genome. Swift’s unique approaches enhance existing next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms by providing the ability to sequence challenging and low-input biological samples, including DNA derived from archived tumors and liquid biopsies.
“This is an exciting time for Swift as we expand our commercial and manufacturing teams to meet the growing demand for our products,” said Timothy Harkins, president and CEO of Swift Biosciences. “Swift’s products have been one step ahead of the market, positioned to enable the new applications coming from low-input samples, like detecting tumor variants in liquid biopsies.”
Expanding the Board of Directors
Swift also announced the appointment of Dan Kidle and Mark Lewis to the company’s board of directors. These two appointments expand the board to seven members. Kidle has been elected as chairman of the board.
Kidle, a principal at Arboretum Ventures, joined the board concurrent with Arboretum’s Series D investment in Swift.
“I’m excited by the use of genomic sequencing data to fuel the discovery of disease biomarkers,” said Kidle. “Few companies are challenging the status quo to make next-generation sequencing more accessible to the basic and clinical research community in the same innovative way as Swift.”
Lewis brings over 40 years of global experience in the life sciences industry. He has held research and development, commercial and general management roles at leading organizations including BD Biosciences, Molecular Dynamics, Nycomed-Amersham and Beckman Instruments. Most recently, Lewis held senior vice president roles at Illumina in customer support, general management and product development, where he led the development of the HiSeqTM and MiSeqTM sequencing platforms.
“With this latest round of funding, an experienced management team, high quality manufacturing, unique technologies, intellectual property and products, Swift has everything in place to transform the way scientists are approaching NGS-based studies,” said Lewis.
Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University say neural networks and supervised machine learning techniques can efficiently characterize cells that have been studied using single cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq). This finding could help researchers identify new cell subtypes and differentiate between healthy and diseased cells.