Cradle Genomics: This Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing Company Has Raised $17.1 Million

By Noah Long ● Updated August 6, 2019
  • Cradle Genomics — the inventors of a novel prenatal testing methodology — announced it closed $17.1 million in Series A funding

Cradle Genomics — the inventors of a novel prenatal testing methodology — announced it has closed $17.1 million in Series A funding led by Illumina Ventures and Section 32. Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Sea Lane Ventures, Listwin Ventures, and Axon Ventures also participated in this round.

This round of funding will be used for supporting clinical development, corporate infrastructure, CLIA lab operations, and the launch of Cradle Genomics’ transformational product offerings for non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).

“Our mission at Cradle Genomics is to deliver genetic knowledge for life, with a vision of better outcomes for every pregnancy,” said Cradle Genomics CEO Tristan Orpin. “We’re dedicated to the transformation of NIPT by offering the most comprehensive fetal genetic analysis and pregnancy health screening solutions at the earliest stages of pregnancy.”

The current NIPT offerings that are presently available rely on the measurement of trace amounts of circulating cell-free fetal DNA in maternal serum. And the relatively low fraction of fetal DNA in maternal blood limits the scope of fetal genetic analysis and the pregnancy stage when testing can be offered. Cradle Genomics’ proprietary assay essentially increases the purity of fetal DNA — which makes testing as early as week 5 of a pregnancy possible while also delivering the most comprehensive content among all NIPT providers for increased clinical utility.

“We are excited to be supporting such an extraordinary team of entrepreneurs,” added Nick Naclerio of Illumina Ventures. “We believe that Cradle Genomics is well-positioned to transform non-invasive prenatal testing.”

Cell-free DNA testing is considered the fastest growing market in the history of molecular diagnostics and it is currently used in a number of health care settings. And Cradle Genomics plans to make transformational advancements in NIPT by leveraging their IP and assay expertise along with its extensive market experience in reproductive health.

Along with Orpin, Cradle Genomics was also founded by Science Officer Randy Armant, Ph.D. (also a professor at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit), Sascha Drewlo, PhD (also an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University in Grand Rapids), and Richard Shippy (VP of Commercial at Cradle). And Jeff Eidel serves as the COO at Cradle Genomics. Eidel, Shippy, and Orpin all worked together as executives at Illumina.