Vigilant Biosciences raises $5.5 million
Based in Miami, Florida, Vigilant Biosciences is a leading innovator and developer of solutions that help in early detection and intervention of cancer. Vigilant Biosciences has raised $5.5 million in Series B funding from White Owl Capital Partners, venVelo, and the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research. More details below:
MIAMI, Feb. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Vigilant Biosciences, Inc. (“Vigilant”), a leading innovator and developer of solutions that aid in the early detection and intervention of cancer, announced today the successful completion of a $5.5 million Series B round of funding, bringing the total amount of funding raised to date to $7.8 million. The financing includes investments by White Owl Capital Partners, venVelo, the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research and several existing investors, as well as a group of private and angel investors with a commitment to the life sciences.
Vigilant will use the funds to drive toward CE Mark approval and U.S. regulatory approval for its OncAlert Oral Cancer Risk Assessment System. Additionally, the funds raised will support the international product launch and commercialization of the OncAlert System as well as other products in Vigilant’s pipeline.
“We are pleased at the excitement and confidence our investors show in the Company, our executive team, our products and the opportunity to positively impact the global cancer market,” said Matthew H.J. Kim, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vigilant Biosciences. “As hundreds of thousands continue to be diagnosed with oral cancer every year, we are committed to providing an accurate, effective and affordable way to aid in the early detection of risk for the disease. This funding will enable us to address this critical market need that has gone unmet for far too long.”
Vigilant’s initial product, the OncAlert Oral Cancer Risk Assessment System, is based on patented technology that detects specific protein markers known to indicate an elevated risk for oral cancer, even prior to the observation of visual or physical symptoms. The simple, oral rinse procedure is easy to administer and non-invasive for the patient. The test can be applied to every adult, with particular emphasis on high-risk populations (i.e, current and former tobacco users, those who consume alcohol, and people with human papillomavirus (HPV)). Both the rapid point-of-care test and the lab assay that comprise the OncAlert Oral Cancer Risk Assessment System are currently under the CE Mark registration approval process and expected for release in Q2 2015.
About Oral Cancer According to the World Health Organization, there are over 600,000 new cases of head and neck cancer and 300,000 deaths each year worldwide. In the United States, more than 54,000 individuals were diagnosed with head and neck cancers in 2014, with 13,500 deaths from the disease. Historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high due to late-stage diagnosis and intervention. Currently, the vast majority of patients are detected through a visual exam and/or are symptomatic, at which point they are likely late stage. As a result, oral cancer often goes undetected to the point of metastasizing. Early diagnosis of oral cancer results in a cure rate of up to 90 percent.
About venVelo venVelo, the premier early-stage venture fund in Florida for innovative companies seeking capital and mentoring, was launched in 2012 and quickly established itself as one of the most active venture funds in central Florida. It was named the 2014 “Tech Investor of the Year”. In addition to its investments, venVelo board members have been frequent speakers, panelists, and venture competition judges around the state. venVelo also has donated money to a variety of organizations working to develop the central Florida entrepreneurial ecosystem.
About White Owl Capital Partners White Owl Capital Partners is a New York City based private investment firm focused on finding exceptional entrepreneurs and providing the capital and advice to help them build great companies. White Owl’s investments span several industries (tech, healthcare, media, banking, logistics, and energy) and geographic regions (US, Canada, UK, Russia, China).
About The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research Formed by the Florida Legislature in 2007, the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research is a non-profit organization that works with technology licensing and commercialization offices at universities and private research institutions to leverage a $2B+ research base and form investable companies that create clean jobs in new industries that are driving the global economy. The Institute deploys company building and funding programs to promising Florida startups, and 36 companies have been since the program’s inception.
About Vigilant Biosciences, Inc. Vigilant Biosciences is a leading innovator and developer of solutions that aid clinicians in the early detection and intervention of cancer. Its point-of-care and lab-based products are accurate, effective and affordable, empowering healthcare practitioners to easily assess the risk of oral cancer early, and improve outcomes through earlier intervention. Vigilant Biosciences’ OncAlert Oral Cancer Risk Assessment System™ point-of-care and lab assay products are currently undergoing the CE Mark registration approval process and not yet available for sale in any market at this time. For more information, visit www.vigilantbiosciences.com.