Haystack Oncology, an oncology startup that uses the next generation of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) detection technology to optimize MRD testing and better inform therapeutic decisions, said today that it has raised $56 million in Series A funding.
Catalio Capital Management, which co-founded Haystack through its private equity and structured equity investment vehicles, led the funding. Bruker, Exact Ventures, Exact Sciences’ venture arm, and Alexandria Venture Investments are among the other investors.
The funds will be used to support the company’s ongoing development and commercialization of its best-in-class personalized cancer diagnostic test, which can identify as few as one mutant molecule in a million DNA molecules, making it the most sensitive ctDNA-based MRD test for usage in solid tumors.
Haystack leverages over two decades of pioneering research in liquid biopsy technologies to detect the presence of any traces of MRD – small numbers of residual tumor DNA molecules left in the body following initial treatment – with high sensitivity and specificity.
These ctDNA molecules are a cancer marker and indicate that the disease may reoccur. Haystack’s testing is intended to inform clinical interventions by developing personalized diagnostic panels to tailor optimal treatment plans to each patient, regardless of tumor origin.
The proceeds also will be used to expand access to Haystack DuoTM, the company’s groundbreaking ctDNA-based MRD testing platform with a low-error rate, next-generation chemistry that enables ultrasensitive and personalized MRD testing.
Haystack’s liquid-biopsy-based tumor-informed test begins with tissue-based whole-exome sequencing to identify patient-specific tumor mutations. The ctDNA from residual, recurrent, or resistant disease is then detected using a personalized MRD test.