UPDATED: Trovagene raises $23M in follow-on share offering for urine-based cancer diagnostic
Trovagene ($TROV), developer of a urine-based cancer diagnostic, has sold 5.1 million shares for $4.50, and raised $23 million, CNN Money reports. The San Diego-based company makes technology for detecting cell-free DNA and RNA resulting from diseased cell death in the urine of cancer patients.
The follow-on has surpassed the company's expectations. Just prior to the stock sale, it announced plans to sell 4.4 million shares and raise about $20 million.
The DNA and RNA that the company focuses are known as "cell-free nucleic acids," and are a result of cells in the body dying and releasing their DNA or RNA into the bloodstream. "The circulating fragments of genetic material are eventually filtered through the kidneys and therefore can be detected and measured in urine. Cell-free nucleic acids can be used as genetic markers of disease. As such, the contents of the urine represent a systemic liquid biopsy and allow for a simple, noninvasive sample collection method," Trovagene says in an SEC filing.
Trovagene lost $9.7 million through the first 9 months of 2014 and $11.8 million in 2013. It has yet to generate any revenue. To that end, the company just released clinical trial results that it says demonstrate that its urine-based technology can detect the human papillomavirus and cervical lesions, both of which are associated with cervical cancer.
The Trovagene HPV assay identified 96.3% of Grade 3 cervical lesions (or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia) and 94.5% of Grade 2 cervical lesions using cervical samples. The sensitivity rates when using urine samples was 91.4% and 89%, respectively.
In January, the company announced partnerships with the Czech Republic's Genomac Research Institute to test its diagnostic on 800 lung and colorectal cancer patients, as well as the University of California, San Diego's Moores Cancer Center.
They build on prior partnerships with PerkinElmer ($PKI) to develop a molecular diagnostic test that measures liver cancer risk. Also, Trovagene is working with Illumina ($ILMN) to evaluate the potential for using its technology with Illumina's gene-sequencing tech for a urine-based HPV test.
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Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect the completion of the follow-on offering.