Vigilant Biosciences, Inc. (“Vigilant”), a leading innovator and developer of solutions that aid in the early detection and intervention of cancer, announced today the successful completion of a $5.5 million Series B round of funding, bringing the total amount of funding raised to date to $7.8 million. The financing includes investments by White Owl Capital Partners, venVelo, the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research and several existing investors, as well as a group of private and angel investors with a commitment to the life sciences.
Vigilant will use the funds to drive toward CE Mark approval and U.S. regulatory approval for its OncAlert™ Oral Cancer product line. Additionally, the funds raised will support the international product launch and commercialization of the OncAlert product line as well as other products in Vigilant’s pipeline.
“We are pleased at the excitement and confidence our investors show in the Company, our executive team, our products and the opportunity to positively impact the global cancer market,” said Matthew H.J. Kim, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vigilant Biosciences. “As hundreds of thousands continue to be diagnosed with oral cancer every year, we are committed to providing an accurate, effective and affordable way to aid in the early detection of risk for the disease. This funding will enable us to address this critical market need that has gone unmet for far too long.”
Vigilant Biosciences’ initial products, the OncAlert Oral Cancer RAPID Test (“OncAlert RAPID Test”) and the OncAlert Oral Cancer LAB Test (“OncAlert LAB Test”), are the first and only technologies that measure soluble CD44 and total protein levels – protein markers clinically shown to be associated specifically with oral cancer when measured in an oral rinse – to aid clinicians in the early detection and intervention of oral cancer.The simple, oral rinse procedure is easy to administer and non-invasive for the patient. The test can be applied to every adult, with particular emphasis on high-risk populations (i.e, current and former tobacco users, those who consume alcohol, and people with human papillomavirus (HPV)). The OncAlert LAB Test is CE Marked. The OncAlert RAPID Test is currently undergoing the CE Mark registration process and not yet available for sale in any market at this time. The OncAlert Oral Cancer product line is not yet available for sale in the U.S.
About Oral Cancer
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, there are over 640,000 new cases of oral cancer each year worldwide. In the U.S., close to 48,250 individuals will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year, with 9,575 deaths from the disease, killing roughly one person per hour, 24 hours per day. Historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high due to late-stage diagnosis and intervention. Currently, the vast majority of patients are detected through a visual exam and/or are symptomatic, at which point they are likely late stage. As a result, oral cancer often goes undetected to the point of metastasizing. Early diagnosis of oral cancer results in a cure rate of up to 90 percent.
venVelo, the premier early-stage venture fund in Florida for innovative companies seeking capital and mentoring, was launched in 2012 and quickly established itself as one of the most active venture funds in central Florida. It was named the 2014 “Tech Investor of the Year”. In addition to its investments, venVelo board members have been frequent speakers, panelists, and venture competition judges around the state. venVelo also has donated money to a variety of organizations working to develop the central Florida entrepreneurial ecosystem.
About White Owl Capital Partners
White Owl Capital Partners is a New York City based private investment firm focused on finding exceptional entrepreneurs and providing the capital and advice to help them build great companies. White Owl’s investments span several industries (tech, healthcare, media, banking, logistics, and energy) and geographic regions (US, Canada, UK, Russia, China).
About The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research
Formed by the Florida Legislature in 2007, the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research is a non-profit organization that works with technology licensing and commercialization offices at universities and private research institutions to leverage a $2B+ research base and form investable companies that create clean jobs in new industries that are driving the global economy. The Institute deploys company building and funding programs to promising Florida startups, and 36 companies have been since the program’s inception.
About Vigilant Biosciences, Inc.
Vigilant Biosciences is a leading innovator and developer of solutions that aid in the early detection and intervention of cancer. Vigilant’s OncAlert Oral Cancer product line includes rapid and lab-based products that are simple, accurate and cost-effective, and empower healthcare practitioners to improve lives through earlier intervention. The OncAlert Oral Cancer product line is not yet available for sale in the U.S. For more information, visit www.vigilantbiosciences.com.