Sera Prognostics, “The Pregnancy Company”, focused on improving maternal and neonatal health by providing innovative pregnancy biomarker information to doctors and patients, today announced the completion of a $100 million Series E financing.
Several leading healthcare-focused institutional investors have joined this financing round, including Vivo Capital, aMoon Fund, Parian Global, and others, led by existing investors Anthem, Inc., and Blue Ox Healthcare Partners. Sera will use the proceeds of the financing to continue the process of commercializing its PreTRM testing, accelerate the development of its pipeline of biomarker tests to predict other major conditions of pregnancy, and develop greater testing capacity for over 3 million annual pregnancies that are candidates for Sera’s PreTRM Test in the United States.
Preterm birth is defined as any birth before 37 weeks’ gestation and is the leading cause of illness and death in newborns. The 2020 March of Dimes Report Card shows that of approximately 3.8 million babies born annually in the United States, more than one in ten is born prematurely. Prematurity is associated with a significantly increased risk of major long- term medical complications, including learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, chronic respiratory illness, intellectual disability, seizures, and vision and hearing loss, and can generate significant costs throughout the lives of affected children. The annual health care costs to manage short- and long-term complications of prematurity in the United States were estimated to be approximately $25 billion for 2016.
“We are appreciative of the strong support of both continuing and new investors as we have reached this important commercialization stage of Sera’s development,” said Gregory C. Critchfield, M.D., M.S., Sera’s Chairman and CEO. “I am also very pleased to welcome three new directors to Sera’s board, who I believe add strong complementary skills to Sera’s supervisory leadership: Marcus Wilson, Chief Analytics Officer of Anthem, Elizabeth Canis, Anthem’s Vice President of Emerging Markets & Partnerships, and Joe Siletto, Managing Director of Vivo Capital. Our new investors will help us realize our objective of being The Pregnancy Company, focused on improving the health of mothers and newborns by mitigating the consequences of adverse pregnancy outcomes.”
Sera plans on leveraging its proprietary proteomics and bioinformatics platform, including its biobank data, to comprehensively characterize pregnancy to build tools, applications, and services for patients, doctors, payers, researchers, and others. The Company is in the process of building out its specialty Ob/Gyn sales force to sell PreTRM testing to obstetrical practices and is in conversation with leading insurance payers toward gaining reimbursement for the PreTRM Test.
“We are particularly pleased to partner with an innovator in maternal and child medicine, where fundamental progress has the potential to effect short-term and life-long improvements in the health of mothers and babies,” said Joe Siletto, Managing Director of Vivo Capital.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Sera as they expand their capabilities to provide a groundbreaking platform that enables mothers and doctors to better predict and tailor the pregnancy journey”, said Tomer Berkovitz, Ph.D., General Partner at aMoon Fund. “Sera’s approach is transformative in translating proteomic biologic signals into meaningful clinical actions in pregnancy.”