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Thrive Launches with USD 110m series A Financing to Integrate Earlier Detection of Multiple Cancer Types into Routine Medical Care.

M2 PHARMA-May 30, 2019-Thrive Launches with USD 110m series A Financing to Integrate Earlier Detection of Multiple Cancer Types into Routine Medical Care

(C)2019 M2 COMMUNICATIONS

- US-based Thrive Earlier Detection Corp., a company dedicated to incorporating earlier cancer detection into routine medical care, has launched with USD 110m in a series A financing, the company said.

Thrive will further advance and commercialize CancerSEEK, a liquid biopsy test designed to detect multiple cancer types at earlier stages of disease. CancerSEEK has been developed by cancer research pioneers Drs. Bert Vogelstein, Kenneth Kinzler and Nickolas Papadopoulos at Johns Hopkins University.

CancerSEEK combines analysis of a highly targeted set of DNA and protein measurements from blood to detect cancer, demonstrating greater than 99% specificity in a retrospective study published in Science.

Minimising the "false-positive" results common in today's early cancer screening tools enables physicians to focus follow-up procedures on patients who truly have cancer and for whom the doctor can take treatment action.

Thrive plans to integrate real-world data and machine learning to continue to improve CancerSEEK over time and to create a cost-effective comprehensive care solution for primary care physicians.

CancerSEEK is currently being evaluated in DETECT, a prospective study in 10,000 healthy individuals underway in collaboration with Geisinger, to better understand test performance and the implementation of its findings into patient care.

Thrive intends to conduct additional clinical studies to generate evidence to support regulatory approvals, inclusion in cancer screening guidelines and broad reimbursement.

CancerSEEK has received Breakthrough Device designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for the detection of genetic mutations and proteins associated with pancreatic and ovarian cancers, two of the most deadly cancer types.

Third Rock Ventures led the series A financing, with participation from Section 32, Casdin Capital, Biomatics Capital, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, Invus, Exact Sciences, Cowin Venture, Camden Partners, Gamma 3 LLC and others.

Today, many cancers are detected at an advanced stage, when the disease has become difficult to treat. This is particularly true for diseases that lack guideline-driven screening tests, such as ovarian, pancreatic and liver cancers, among others.

To complement colonoscopy, mammography and other screening tools, Thrive is developing CancerSEEK, a blood-based test designed to be used in routine medical care, with the goal of identifying multiple cancer types at earlier stages. Thrive has an exclusive license to CancerSEEK from Johns Hopkins University.

Informed by more than 25 years of research by the company's founders, CancerSEEK interrogates genomic mutations in circulating tumor DNA

(ctDNA) and cancer-associated protein markers in plasma to identify abnormalities that are common across multiple cancers.

In a retrospective study of multiple cancer types published in Science in 2018, CancerSEEK was shown to perform with greater than 99% specificity and with sensitivities ranging from 69% to 98% for the detection of five cancer types ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreas and esophageal for which there are no screening tests available for average-risk individuals.

To support physicians and patients in acting upon the detection result, Thrive aims to offer an integrated service that provides support in result interpretation, confirmatory diagnostic testing and guidance for additional clinical care where appropriate.

Beyond this, drawing upon demographic and phenotypic information, historical clinical data, radiology and pathology imaging, behavioral data, information from retrospective clinical studies of relevant cohorts, and other sources, Thrive intends to create a learning loop that fine-tunes test performance and expands the number of people who can benefit from earlier cancer screening over time.

The DETECT study is underway to better understand CancerSEEK performance and how to implement its findings into patient care.

This study is being conducted by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in partnership with Geisinger and Thrive. To date, 10,000 women between the ages of 65 and 75 without a prior cancer history have been enrolled.

Data from this trial, along with other data and ongoing discussions with regulatory authorities, will help inform design of future studies, including those intended to support regulatory approvals.

The CancerSEEK technology was pioneered by a team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The company founders include:

Bert Vogelstein, M.D., a pioneer in cancer genomics and the first scientist to elucidate the molecular basis of a common human cancer, is the Clayton Professor of oncology and pathology and co-director of the Ludwig Institute at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (SKCCC) at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Vogelstein is also an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Kenneth W. Kinzler, Ph.D., an expert on the molecular and genetic analysis of human cancer, is a professor of oncology and a co-director of the Ludwig Institute at Johns Hopkins University and associate director for laboratory research for the SKCCC at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Kinzler also serves as a member of Thrive's board of directors.

Nickolas Papadopoulos, Ph.D., an expert in cancer diagnostics and the development of diagnostic tests, is a professor of oncology and pathology at the SKCCC at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Papadopoulos also serves as a member of Thrive's board of directors.

Thrive Earlier Detection Corp. is a healthcare company focused on incorporating earlier cancer detection into routine medical care to extend and save lives.

Thrive is developing CancerSEEK, a liquid biopsy test that is designed to detect many cancers at earlier stages of disease that will serve as the core of its integrated cancer information offering.

CancerSEEK is designed to be administered to healthy adults during routine medical care, such as a yearly checkup, alongside existing cancer screening tools.

The company was launched in 2019 by Third Rock Ventures, with funding from additional investors Section 32, Casdin Capital, Biomatics Capital, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, Invus, Exact Sciences and others.

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Date:May 30, 2019
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