Caris Life Sciences, an Irving-headquartered biotech innovator in the precision medicine market, has raised $830 million in growth equity—one of the largest capital raises in precision medicine yet.
The financing gives Caris a post-money valuation of $7.83 billion. It also brings the 13-year-old company’s total funding to around $1.3 billion.
Last October, we told you about Caris raising $310 million in growth capital, marking the first significant external equity investment it had received. At the time, the team said it would allow them to advance their position as a leading tumor profiling company that aims to reinvent cancer care.
The newest round was led by Sixth Street, a global investment firm with more than $50 billion in assets under management and committed capital. It marks Sixth Street’s third investment in Caris since 2018.
Sixth Street also participated in the October raise, investing $75 million in debt financing as an extension to $150 million from 2018.
“Since our original investment in 2018, Caris has steadily advanced its position as the market-leading precision medicine company by continuing to advance innovative product development and pursuing new initiatives in blood-based molecular science profiling, while expanding the application of its artificial intelligence platform,” Vijay Mohan, co-founding partner at Sixth Street and a Caris Board member, said in a statement. “We are proud to continue to support Caris’ growth, as we believe Caris is the highest-quality platform in this revolutionary sector.”
The $830M also included a diverse syndicate of leading investors. All existing investors from last year’s financing participated in the newest deal.
Significant participants were funds and accounts advised by: T. Rowe Price Associates Inc, Silver Lake, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, and Coatue.
And, additional investors were: Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Millennium Management, Neuberger Berman Funds, Highland Capital Management, Rock Springs Capital, OrbiMed, ClearBridge Investments, Tudor Investment Corporation, Eaton Vance Equity (Morgan Stanley), Pura Vida Investments, and First Light Asset Management.
“The strong participation of all our existing, as well as new investors, is a testament to the promise of the Caris platform and supports our leading position as the most innovative company in the precision medicine space,” Brian J. Brille, vice chairman of Caris, said in a statement. “We are very appreciative of the high quality and diversity of this syndicate of investors which includes leading mutual funds, healthcare specialist funds, technology-focused funds, sovereign wealth and pension funds and family offices.”
Caris Life Sciences’ approach to precision medicine
Caris Life Sciences is built on the mission to help physicians and cancer patients make more personalized and precise treatment decisions—completely changing the way patients are diagnosed and treated.
The team calls itself pioneers in molecular science with their Caris Molecular Intelligence approach. Caris has a suite of molecular profiling offerings that assess DNA, RNA, and proteins to reveal a molecular blueprint and identify the right treatment option for each patient.
For instance: Caris’ MI Exome is an exome sequencing with 22,000 DNA genes, and MI Transcriptome is a whole transcriptome sequencing with 22,000 RNA genes. Coupled with an analysis of cancer-related pathogens, bacteria, viruses, and fungi, Caris says it can provide “the most comprehensive and clinically relevant DNA and RNA profiling available on the market.”
Another arm of the company is Caris Pharmatech, which was born in 2019 when the company acquired Denver-based Pharmatech.
Caris Pharmatech aims to streamline the clinical trial process for drug development. Using its Just-In-Time Oncology Network, the technology can assist biopharma companies in accessing research-ready oncology sites for clinical trials. This allows the companies to identify and enroll more patients and deploy rapid site activation.
And yet another sector is Caris Artificial Intelligence. That involves combining its market-leading service offering, Caris Molecular Intelligence, with its proprietary AI analytics engine, DEAN, to “analyze the whole exome, whole transcriptome, and complete cancer proteome.”
That allows the company to offer what it calls unmatched molecular solutions for patients, physicians, payers, and biopharma organizations.
“We plan to unlock the full potential of precision medicine through comprehensive interrogation of cancer at the molecular level,” Chairman and CEO David D. Halbert said in a statement. “This will allow the delivery of transformative applications of molecular science, including the launch of our early detection (stage 1 and stage 2) blood-based pan-cancer test, providing results for every patient with no non-shedders.”
According to the team, the new strategic capital will allow them to continue commercial expansion and investment in delivering a “first-in-class liquid biopsy platform with high concordance to tissue across different modalities.” That includes therapy selection, recurrence monitoring, and early screening across all cancer types.
The raise is timely, especially as demand for personalized cancer care expands worldwide. Caris is seeing more patients and physicians seeking to better understand specific cancers, so they can develop customized treatment plans that will lead to better outcomes.
“Caris puts the patient at the center of everything we do,” Halbert said. “This recent raise will help us bring our market-leading science and technologies to as many patients as possible, ultimately reinventing cancer care.”
Caris’ work is done at the Caris Life Sciences Corporate Park in Irving. The company also has offices in Phoenix, Denver, New York, and Switzerland.
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