-CancerIQ, the platform powering early cancer detection and prevention across broad patient populations, announced today it closed a $14 million Series B financing round co-led by Merck Global Health Innovation Fund (Merck GHI) and Amgen Ventures. McKesson Ventures, OSF Ventures (the investment arm of OSF HealthCare, a current CancerIQ customer), as well as CancerIQ’s Series A lead investor, HealthX Ventures, also participated in the Series B round.
The new funding comes one month after a report from the President’s Cancer Panel calling for “urgent and immediate action” to close gaps in cancer screening, risk assessment, and timely follow-up care — particularly among diverse, uninsured or underinsured, and rural populations.
Systemic access barriers have created stark inequality when it comes to preventive cancer care in the United States. For example, Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stages of breast cancer and 41% more likely to die of the disease than white women. These issues are compounded by the 9.5 million screenings missed during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to an increase in late-stage cancer diagnoses that are more costly and have a greater impact on quality of life and outcomes than early-stage diagnoses.
Two Black female co-founders are on a mission to solve this problem.
“The cancer research community has made great strides in cancer prevention and treatment,” said Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Olopade, MD, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Advisor of CancerIQ. “But now we must accelerate and scale the clinical pipeline, so a diverse population of patients — those receiving care at academic medical centers and community hospitals alike — can benefit from these advances.” Dr. Olopade served on the National Cancer Advisory Board and is one of the field’s foremost authorities on cancer genetics and precision oncology.
“CancerIQ’s vision is to end cancer as we know it by eliminating health disparities and democratizing access to the latest advances in cancer early detection and prevention,” added Feyi Olopade Ayodele, Co-founder and CEO of CancerIQ. “We started by making genetic testing more accessible and connecting patients to the right preventive services at the right time. This latest round of funding will help CancerIQ reach more patients and connect to more innovations that promise to transform cancer from a deadly disease to a manageable condition.”
CancerIQ’s precision health platform, which is being used by clinicians at more than 180 locations across the country, makes it easy to determine a patient’s individual risk of cancer based on family history, genetics, behavior, and other factors, and then connect them to the corresponding care pathways. Those pathways range from MRIs, prophylactic surgeries and vaccinations to at-home screening kits, multi-cancer early detection (MCED) tests, lifestyle interventions and other services such as clinical trials, educational materials, and social resources. CancerIQ is embedded directly into EMR workflows so clinicians in any care setting have the latest genomics research, clinical guidelines, and life sciences innovations at their fingertips.
“CancerIQ’s platform creates the critical infrastructure needed to bring cancer-focused precision health into the actual clinical workflow for every clinician, at every heath system,” said Taha Jangda, General Partner, HealthX Ventures. “This enables clinicians across service lines to perform cancer risk stratification much sooner in the care journey, and to steer patients down a precision pathway to prevention and early detection. This is needed now more than ever given the backlog of cancer screenings from the pandemic.”
The new funding will help CancerIQ grow its precision health platform, strengthen its partnership ecosystem, and expand its health system network. Following a recent series of key executive hires, the company also plans to hire 50 team members to meet the rising demand for more efficient and innovative cancer prevention services.
“CancerIQ is poised to address a critical need in cancer care. Through early detection and addressing health care disparities, it is possible to provide patients better access to today’s innovations” said Joel Krikston, Managing Director and Head of Strategic Innovation Alliances, Merck GHI Fund. “We are committed to partnering with innovative companies to improve the quality of health outcomes for all patients, and we look forward to furthering this mission with CancerIQ.”