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Biotech startup Quantgene released an at-home saliva to test for cancer risk, hoping to compete with other genetics companies as it develops even more precise ways to detect the disease.
The Santa Monica-based company, which aims to extend human life by a decade, released an at-home DNA sequencing test to the public last month to help customers understand hereditary factors that may lead to a cancer diagnosis.
This is one part of Quantgene's four-pronged cancer test, known as Serenity, that uses family history, genetics counselors, a blood test and exome sequencing to scan large chunks of DNA. The company ultimately aims to catch cancer in its first and second stages of development, before it becomes deadly.
"We hope to unlock a new era in medicine in which trained physicians can detect multiple cancers at early stages in the blood with single molecule precision," Quantgene CEO and founder Jo Bhadki said in an announcement.
People can request an at-home saliva test from Quantgene's website and have a genetic counselor interpret its results. According to the company, the cost is less than $1,000 and the test also looks at the risk for other diseases.
The company is also working on a blood test that screens for multiple cancers using a single draw. Quantgene has been working on this early-detection cancer technology for the last five years and is accepting patients via waitlist.
Earlier this week, announced it secured $6 million in funding led by Vikor Scientific, a life science company based out of South Carolina. As part of the investment, Vikor will take a stake in the company and help market Quantgene's services to its database of medical providers, establishing a presence on the East Coast.
The idea for Quantgene began at an U.C. Berkley lab. The company has raised $13 million from two previous rounds of fundraising.
The company aims to establish Los Angeles and South Carolina, where Vikor is headquartered, as "leading centers in genomics-based medical innovation."
Editor's note: This post has been updated to reflect when the saliva-test was released, correct the investment figures in funding rounds and clarify U.C. Berkeley's role in the company's development.
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