Filipino-led biotech raises ₧10 billion for cancer research


InterVenn Biosciences recently announced the completion of a P10-billion Series C financing from SoftBank Group, Heritage Provider Network, Irving Investors, and Highside Capital Management.

The fund will largely be allocated for the development and commercialization of Dawn™, a blood-based test aimed at helping physicians appropriately match cancer patients to the immuno-oncology therapy with the best possible chance of response.

From a simple blood-draw, InterVenn is able to measure never before characterized biological signals from glycoproteins. Dawn™ is in the early validation process for use in patients with pancreatic and lung cancers as well as melanoma. Its application on other tumor types is continuously being studied.

InterVenn uses a proprietary glycoproteomics biomarker interrogation platform that reveals a wealth of information about a person’s unique molecular makeup for next-gen precision medicine. With AI and mass spectrometry, InterVenn’s platform has been utilized to develop 16 clinical use cases across oncology and other indications.

Propelled by its purpose that nobody should ever be blindsided by disease, the company is working to find new solutions for ovarian, colorectal, pancreatic, liver, prostate, and kidney cancer; comprised of treatment and monitoring, immune profiling, patient stratification, and disease progression.

At the helm of the patient-driven, employee-first organization is Aldo Carrascoso. The Filipino founder and chief executive officer of InterVenn is a graduate of the Ateneo De Manila University and Babson College. Alongside Carrascoso is fellow Filipino and co-founder Dr. Carlito Lebrilla, Ph.D, a Distinguished Professor at the School of Medicine in the University of California, Davis and world-expert in Glycoproteomics.

InterVenn is headquartered in the Bay Area in South San Francisco, California. Their Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified laboratory is also located at the same site.  “But one hundred percent of our software is done in the Philippines,” Carrascoso said. “Our engineering team in our Pasig City office takes care of the cloud infrastructure, front end, back end, and even security. Information security, information event management. Events like infiltration, penetration testing. We have a full staff that does dev ops, server systems administration.”

The company has grown exponentially since its debut project in 2018. It was then that InterVenn started to work on GLORI™ which is able to differentiate between benign and malignant pelvic tumors in women with 86 percent accuracy, higher than any other currently available blood test for ovarian cancer.

Last June 10, InterVenn announced the validation of GLORI™ as the world’s first glycoproteomic laboratory-developed test that will aid in the fight against ovarian cancer. It has been validated using both retrospective patient samples and samples collected prospectively in InterVenn’s ongoing VOCAL™ (InterVenn Test For Ovarian Cancer Liquid Biopsy) clinical trial.

This was made possible by the over P2 billion venture investment received by InterVenn from Genoa Ventures, True Ventures, Amplify Partners, Boost VC, Prado SV, the Ojjeh Family and Anzu Partners.

“We are inspired by the consistent support from global investor groups, it is a clear recognition of the transformative potential of our technology. Their investment allows us to maintain our position to unlock the glycoproteome as a novel and fundamental layer in biology, which will reveal a myriad of new insights on how to diagnose and treat disease,” Carrascoso states.

After the success of GloriTM, InterVenn is forging ahead with its investigation of other early-detecting blood tests, namely for adenoma, colorectal cancer, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Image courtesy of Contributed photo

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