BEVERLY, Mass., May 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TellBio, Inc., a development stage biotechnology company focused on revolutionizing the detection and treatment of cancer through its unique and proprietary circulating tumor cell (CTC) technology, TellDx, and complementary therapeutics platform, TellRx, today announced the closing of a $5 million Series A financing. Concurrent with the close, the Company announced the appointments of Pritesh J. Gandhi, PharmD, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Annie Partisano, PharmD, MS, as Senior Vice President and Head of Operations; an exclusive license of the TellDx platform to Genetron Holdings Limited for its development in the Chinese market; and signing of an agreement to deploy the TellDx platform to ARUP Laboratories, Inc, a nationwide reference laboratory in the U.S.
The foundation of the Company’s approach, detection of and targeting CTCs, is exclusively licensed from Massachusetts General Hospital, and is based on decades of academic and clinical research generated by the scientific founders, Daniel Haber, MD, PhD, Mehmet Toner, PhD, David Ting, MD, Shyamala Maheswaran, PhD, and Ravi Kapur, PhD. TellBio was founded in 2019 by biotechnology industry veteran and entrepreneur, Richard Peters, MD, PhD.
The $5 million Series A round was led by Crocker Ventures, Genetron Holdings Limited, ARUP Laboratories, Inc., the National Foundation for Cancer Research, and included participation of several angel biotech investors. Proceeds from the Series A will fund further deployment of the revenue-generating TellDx platform globally and advance TellRx therapeutics programs currently in early-stage development.
The Company is also strengthening its executive team with the appointment of Pritesh J. Gandhi as CEO effective today. Prior to joining TellBio, Dr. Gandhi was General Manager at Alnylam where he effectively led cross-expertise area teams to bring forward a rare disease medicine from development to global commercialization. Earlier at Alnylam, he was responsible for building a world-class global medical affairs vision, strategy, and operational capability to launch two novel RNAi therapeutics. Prior to joining Alnylam, Dr. Gandhi had a wide-range of global medical affairs responsibilities in launching four first-in-class medicines in hematology/oncology at Sanofi Genzyme. He launched his professional career in the biopharmaceutical industry at Millennium and then Alexion. He commenced his professional journey in academia with faculty appointments at The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and The University of Massachusetts Medical School where he conducted scholarly work and published several articles.
“Today’s announcements propel TellBio as a unique, next-generation player in the field of liquid biopsies and novel treatment modalities for patients with cancer,” said Dr. Gandhi. “I am thrilled to be joining the Company as its unique technology allows for detecting live circulating tumor cells regardless of cancer type. This, juxtaposed with the Company’s dual and complementary diagnostic and therapeutic platforms is a compelling opportunity toward improving outcomes of patients with cancer.”
Additionally, Annie Partisano has joined the Company as Senior Vice President and Head of Operations. With more than fifteen years of pharmaceutical industry experience in both pre-commercial and commercial companies, Dr. Partisano brings a wealth of medical and operational expertise to TellBio. Prior to joining TellBio, she held various leadership positions within Medical Affairs at Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi Genzyme, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and most recently, Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, where she was Vice President, Medical Operations.
Concurrent with the financing and executive appointments, the company signed strategic TellDx agreements with Genetron Holdings Limited and ARUP Laboratories, Inc., which will accelerate the global deployment of the TellDx platform. Under the terms of an exclusive license, Genetron will be the distributor of TellDx within greater China and will collaborate with TellBio on enhancements to the platform. Separately, ARUP Laboratories plans to implement the TellDx platform across several research programs in the U.S. and joins other centers of excellence that have already adopted the TellDx platform.
“We are very pleased to join the syndicate of investors backing TellBio,” said Andy Theurer, President of ARUP Laboratories, Inc. “The Company is backed by world-class biotechnology executives and scientists; its integrated diagnostics and therapeutics platforms provide a unique differentiation within the liquid biopsy space.”
The Company is a development stage biotechnology company based in Beverly, Massachusetts, with the goal to revolutionize the detection and treatment of cancer through its unique and proprietary circulating tumor cells (CTCs) technology and complementary therapeutics platform, TellDx and TellRx, respectively. TellBio’s vision is to free patients and their families from the tyranny of cancer via both its TellDx and TellRx platforms.
TellDx is a fully functional diagnostic solution aimed at detecting live CTCs from patient liquid biopsies. TellRx is the therapeutics platform that generates novel anti-cancer medicines by specifically targeting CTCs. The synergy of these platforms offers TellBio a unique opportunity to detect CTCs via a first-in-class, best-in-class microfluidic diagnostic platform and target CTCs with novel therapeutics to improve outcomes of patients with cancer.
About Genetron Holdings Limited
Genetron Holdings Limited (NASDAQ: GTH) is a leading precision oncology platform company in China that specializes in cancer molecular profiling and harnesses advanced technologies in molecular biology and scientific data to transform cancer treatment. The Company has developed a comprehensive oncology portfolio that covers the entire spectrum of cancer management, addressing needs and challenges from early screening, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations, as well as continuous disease monitoring and care. For more information, please visit ir.genetronhealth.com
About ARUP Laboratories
Founded in 1984, ARUP Laboratories is a leading national reference laboratory and a nonprofit enterprise of The University of Utah and its Department of Pathology. ARUP offers more than 3,000 tests and test combinations, ranging from routine screening tests to esoteric molecular and genetic assays. ARUP serves clients across the United States, including many of the nation’s top university teaching hospitals and children’s hospitals, as well as multihospital groups, major commercial laboratories, group purchasing organizations, military and other government facilities, and major clinics. In addition, ARUP is a worldwide leader in innovative laboratory research and development, led by the efforts of the ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology®. ARUP is ISO 15189 CAP accredited; For more information, please visit aruplab.com