Caris Life Sciences, the Irving-based biotech company, announced Thursday that it closed a senior secured term loan providing up to $400 million in capital from OrbiMed and Braidwell, bringing its funding total since 2018 to roughly $1.7 billion.
Caris, a molecular science and technology company that is actively developing and delivering innovative solutions to revolutionize healthcare, said it will use the proceeds to repay debt, improve its unique precision medicine platform, and for general corporate purposes.
“Over the past decade, Caris has continued to raise the standard for molecular testing, beginning with offering Whole Exome and Whole Transcriptome in tissue, to now offering the same in liquid biopsy,” David D. Halbert, chairman, founder and CEO of Caris Life Sciences, said in a statement. “We are making breakthroughs with artificial intelligence and machine learning that enhance and change our understanding of cancer as a disease.”
The additional capital lets the company pursue its mission “with even more intense focus as we invest in our technologies and product pipeline,” he said.
Partnering for better cancer care
The financing is led by OrbiMed, an existing investor in Caris and a leading investor in the healthcare industry. OrbiMed also participated in Caris’ $830 million equity financing round in 2021 and $310 million growth capital financing round in 2020, Caris said.
“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Caris to support their advancement of molecular profiling,” OrbiMed Partner Mark Jelley said in a statement. “Caris has shown the value of a comprehensive approach, and we are excited by the potential of Caris’ proprietary dataset and technology.”
Braidwell, a life science-focused investment firm and a new investor in Caris, partnered with OrbiMed in the financing. Braidwell works with companies such as Caris to accelerate the collective fight against disease through flexible, creative financing solutions and collaborative partnership, Caris said.
“Caris has established itself among physicians, patients, and biopharma partners as a trusted provider and innovator. We look forward to partnering with them to continue enhancing cancer care,” Braidwell Partner Ilan Sender said in a statement.
Using AI and ML to predict patient response
Caris has been an innovator in molecular profiling since it was founded in 2008, with a molecular database of over 455,000 tumor profiles to date, including more than 350,000 profiles with matched molecular data and clinical outcomes, the company said. Its comprehensive molecular profiling approach precisely analyzes DNA (Whole Exome Sequencing), RNA (Whole Transcriptome Sequencing), and protein biomarkers to reveal a patient’s molecular blueprint for selecting the most appropriate therapies.
Caris uses advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify unique signatures to classify cancer at the molecular level and predict patient response.
The company recently was named the winner for “Innovation in Biotechnology” in the D CEO and Dallas Innovates’ 2023 Innovation Awards.
Minimally invasive biopsy option
In 2022, the company introduced Caris Assure, a blood-based molecular profiling assay that uses a novel circulating nucleic acids sequencing approach to provide extensive molecular insights from a simple blood sample. It offers a minimally invasive liquid biopsy option for biomarker analysis and serial monitoring of cancer patients, the company said.
Caris also is advancing cancer care with biopharma partners through Caris Discovery, a proprietary, multi-omics target discovery engine that is designed to identify novel targets for drug development.
“This financing demonstrates Caris’ commitment to maintaining capital strength in order to support our growth and developing technologies. Our investors continue to believe in the value of our platform, and we are honored to work with partners that have profound understanding and experience within our industry,” Brian J. Brille, Vice Chairman of Caris Life Sciences, said in a statement.
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