KALAMAZOO — Armune Bioscience Inc. raised nearly $9.1 million in a capital round to support further commercialization of a blood test to screen for prostate cancer.
Part of a $9.4 million Series A capital raise, the funding in the Kalamazoo-based firm came from 46 investors, according to a regulatory filing this week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Formed in 2008, Armune Bioscience this year intends to begin raising a subsequent $25 million in Series B growth capital after launching its Apifiny diagnostic blood test last April.
Since signing a deal in December with Quebec City-based Aeterna Zenteris Inc. to co-market Apifiny, Armune has secured a number of deals with labs and provider networks to extend the blood test’s deployment across the U.S. and globally. In the latest agreement, announced Jan. 27, Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Fortified Provider Network will make the Apifiny test available to the more than 69 million members.
Using technology licensed from the University of Michigan, Apifiny checks for biomarkers that indicate the presence of prostate cancer in men with an elevated level of prostate-specific antigen, or PSA. The test works by detecting the antibodies produced when the body’s immune system recognizes a cancer antigen.
“The marketplace is demanding solutions beyond PSA-based testing for prostate cancer detection,” CEO David Espisito said in an announcement on the Fortified deal. “Apifiny is well positioned to offer clinicians additional information in the assessment of prostate cancer risk and help to address our health care system’s demand for improved outcomes at lower costs.”
In the first 10 months on the market, Armune performed more than 3,600 billable tests ordered by 325 primary care physicians and urologists in 25 states. Beyond detection, Armune is developing tests that it could bring to the market in the next two years for patient prognosis and treatment monitoring. Armune is also doing early discovery on tests to detect breast and lung cancers that could launch by 2019.