Pangea Biomed, the biotech company behind ENLIGHT, the multi-cancer response predictor improving the effectiveness of precision oncology, announced $5 million in additional funding reaching a total seed round of $12 million. The latest fundraising is led by angel investor Danny Tocatly and existing investor NFX, and will be used to expand US operations, drive commercial partnerships, and scale product offerings.
Launching from stealth earlier this year, Pangea aims to improve upon the dismal statistic that, despite significant investment in oncology R&D and approval of a number of efficacious immuno-oncology drugs, less than 10 percent of cancer patients benefit from today’s precision oncology treatments. The company’s ENLIGHT platform combines RNA sequencing with machine learning to pinpoint the best path toward combating a patient’s cancer, with a goal to increase patient benefits from precision oncology by 5x and democratize personalized cancer care.
“Our technology aims to change the way cancer is treated globally,” said Tuvik Beker, Ph.D., CEO of Pangea. “This seed extension will help us make strides toward improving oncology drug development and making personalized care accessible for all patients.”
The company’s efforts are quickly advancing the potential for all cancer patients, regardless of cancer type, to qualify for personalized treatment regimens. Recently, the company revealed technology that may bring personalized treatment nomination to situations where NGS-based molecular profiling isn’t an option due to a lack of sufficient tissue, time or resources.
Over the last year, Pangea began two clinical trials, published three papers on their newest findings and established partnerships with several pharmaceutical companies. The company is also actively collaborating with clinicians and researchers from some of the world’s best institutes, including Massachusetts General Hospital and Sheba Hospital, the largest hospital in Israel and one of the top ten hospitals in the world.
“Since co-founding the company, I’ve witnessed first-hand the accelerated growth Pangea experienced under the leadership of Tuvik Beker, Emmanuel Elalouf, and Ranit Aharonov,” said Eyal Gottlieb, co-founder of Pangea and incoming Vice President for Research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “This funding underscores the far-reaching potential of ENLIGHT and the incredible impact the technology can have for cancer patients.”
Pangea is focusing efforts on expanding its work in the US to gain access to a greater spread of research partnerships, drug development opportunities and advanced clinical trials. The company plans to hire a Chief Business Officer to scale these US-focused operations.
The announcement comes on the heels of two peer-reviewed publications involving Pangea’s ENLIGHT platform. A study published in Cell Press’s Med journal reveals that Pangea’s ENLIGHT demonstrably enhances the ability to predict therapeutic response across multiple cancer types from the bulk tumor transcriptome. Published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, a case study report on the success of an ENLIGHT-matched treatment for a woman with rare liver cancer demonstrates that checkpoint blockade guided by novel transcriptomic analysis can lead to complete remission after failure of several lines of treatment.