SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 7, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sera Prognostics, Inc., a women's healthcare company, today announced that it has closed $20 Million in Series B financing. Leading the Series B investment is Chione, Ltd, a European investment company supporting the development of medical diagnostic, pharmaceutical and IT technologies world-wide. Chione is currently an investor in Karyopharm Therapeutics and Metamark Genetics. Rounding out the Series B financing are current investors Domain Associates, InterWest Partners, Catalyst Health Ventures, UpStart Life Sciences Capital, and Osage University Partners.
"Improving the health of newborns is the primary goal at Sera Prognostics. This financing commitment from our current and new investors is further evidence of the progress and promise of Sera's novel technology platform. Assessing an individual woman's risk earlier enables physicians to act with better information, with the goal of prolonging pregnancy and improving newborn health," said Gregory C. Critchfield, M.D., M.S., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sera Prognostics. "Sera's technology has the potential to help clinicians make a real difference for their patients."
Sera has completed enrollment of 5,500 patients from eleven U.S. clinical sites in its landmark Proteomic Assessment of Preterm Risk (PAPR) clinical study and expects results to be available during the second quarter of 2015. PAPR is the largest and broadest singleton pregnancy proteomic study enrolled in an entirely representative US study population to date, for the purpose of developing a generalized preterm birth predictor.
In addition to the financing, Sera Prognostics announced the appointment of Mansoor Raza Mirza, M.D. to its Board of Directors. Dr. Mirza is Chief Oncologist at the Department of Oncology, Rigshospitalet - the Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.
"I am thrilled to be working with Sera's talented scientific and business team on such a significant problem that has world-wide implications," said Dr. Raza Mirza. "Improving the health of neonates across the globe will make an important difference in the lives of patients and families everywhere."
Dr. Mirza is a leading European oncologist with a strong research focus in gynecologic oncology, including non-surgical treatment of gynecologic cancers. He chairs the Health Ministry's obligatory teaching course on non-surgical treatment of cancer for Danish doctors specializing in Clinical Oncology. He is vice-president of the Danish Gynecologic Cancer Group (DGCG) and medical director of Nordic Society of Gynecologic Oncology (NSGO). Dr. Mirza is the Nordic representative in the European Network of Gynecologic Oncology Trials (ENGOT) and in the Gynecologic Cancer Inter-Group (GCIG), and serves as faculty of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO). He is an active member of ESGO, IGCS, ESTRO, GOG and ASCO. He currently serves as a director of Karyopharm Therapeutics and Metamark Genetics.
Sera's PreTRM™ test will use a routine blood sample obtained during the second trimester of pregnancy to provide an early and individualized assessment of a woman's risk of preterm birth. Upon launch, commercial testing will be performed at Sera's state-of-the-art CLIA laboratory with results returned to referring physicians. Physicians may then use this information to help guide clinical decisions with respect to personalized interventions intended to improve newborn health and potentially reduce the costs of healthcare delivery, including prolonged stays in neonatal intensive care units. The annual public healthcare cost of caring for preterm infants in the U.S. was estimated in a 2005 Institutes of Medicine Report at more than $26 billion.
About Preterm Birth
The global impact of preterm birth affects 15 million infants born each year, with 1 million deaths occurring from prematurity. Of the 4 million babies born annually in the U.S., approximately one in nine, or approximately 11 percent, is born preterm. Preterm birth is defined as any birth before 37 weeks gestation, and is the leading cause of illness and death in newborns. Preterm birth is associated with a significantly increased risk of major long-term medical complications, including learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, chronic respiratory illness, intellectual disability, seizures, and vision and hearing loss. The complications from preterm birth also extend beyond the first year of life, and generate significant costs throughout the lives of affected children.
About Sera Prognostics, Inc.
Sera Prognostics is a private biotechnology company developing innovative diagnostic tests designed for the early prediction of preterm birth risk and other pregnancy complications. Sera's tests are designed to help better inform the care of a mother and her unborn child during pregnancy, and potentially lead to improved health. The company has assembled a strong management team and Board of Directors with significant clinical development and women's healthcare diagnostic experience. Sera's Proteomic Assessment of Preterm Risk (PAPR) study is fully enrolled, as one of the world's largest and broadest clinical trials to validate the performance of the Company's PreTRM™ Test for predicting the risk of preterm birth and results are expected during the second quarter of 2015. Sera Prognostics is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.seraprognostics.com.
CONTACT: Company Contact: Andrew Sauter Chief Financial Officer firstname.lastname@example.org (801) 990-0772 Media Contact: Terri Clevenger Continuum Health Communications email@example.com (203) 856-4326Source:Sera Prognostics, Inc.