Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE:SFE), a holding company that provides growth capital and operational support to life sciences and technology companies, today announced that it deployed $10 million as part of a $28 million Series D financing for Crescendo Bioscience, a South San Francisco, CA-based molecular diagnostics company focused on rheumatology. Safeguard co-led the financing with Skyline Ventures, with the remaining $8 million funded by existing investors Mohr Davidow Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, aeris CAPITAL AG and others. Proceeds will be used to further expand Crescendo’s sales and clinical development efforts for VectraTM DA, the first and only multi-biomarker blood test for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that helps physicians make more informed treatment decisions.
Crescendo Bioscience is currently focused on improving the treatment of RA, a debilitating, chronic inflammatory disease characterized by bone erosions and cartilage degradation that affects over 1.5 million people in the United States and more than 4 million worldwide. Current tools for assessing the status of RA in individual cases are largely subjective, imprecise and cumbersome to administer in daily practice. Although there is no known cure for RA, multiple therapies are available—nine are approved and many more are in the pipeline with widely differing levels of effectiveness and significant potential toxicities. Choosing the optimal treatment from among these therapeutic alternatives is a tremendous challenge for physicians.
Working with collaborators from leading academic medical institutions, Crescendo Bioscience is building a comprehensive understanding of the underlying biology of RA, including the characterization of protein, gene expression and genetic biomarkers, to provide molecular analysis of the disease to help guide the treatment of individual patients. Through its lead product, Vectra TM DA, Crescendo Bioscience is establishing long-term relationships with clinicians to help improve outcomes throughout the continuum of care. All testing is performed at Crescendo Bioscience’s own specialized, CLIA-certified laboratory.
“We believe that Vectra TM DA represents a large addressable U.S. market and is already changing the way RA is being managed,” said Gary J. Kurtzman, MD, Managing Director, Life Sciences at Safeguard, who joined Crescendo Bioscience’s Board of Directors. “Patients suffering from RA are treated by a concentrated group of only 3,500 rheumatologists who rely on a number of subjective measures to assess disease activity and response to treatment. Lack of reliable objective measures can lead to suboptimal patient outcomes. Crescendo Bioscience is addressing this significant unmet medical need with a high caliber management team. We welcome Crescendo Bioscience to the Safeguard family and look forward to working with Skyline Ventures and the other syndicate partners to build a great company.”“With this new Series D financing and the addition of our newest financial partners, Safeguard Scientifics and Skyline Ventures, we believe that we can accelerate our commercialization and clinical development and expand the availability of Vectra TM DA to assess and track disease activity for all RA patients,” said William A. Hagstrom, President and CEO of Crescendo Bioscience. “Safeguard Scientifics and Skyline Ventures are well-established groups that have funded successful commercialization organizations in the past and we look forward to their domain expertise and partnership.” About Safeguard Scientifics Founded in 1953 and based in Wayne, PA, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE:SFE) provides growth capital and operational support to entrepreneurial and innovative life sciences and technology companies. Safeguard targets life sciences companies in Molecular and Point-of-Care Diagnostics, Medical Devices, Regenerative Medicine, Specialty Pharmaceuticals and selected healthcare services, and technology companies in Internet / New Media, Financial Services IT, Healthcare IT and selected business services with capital requirements of up to $25 million. Safeguard participates in expansion financings, corporate spin-outs, management buyouts, recapitalizations, industry consolidations and early-stage financings. For more information, please visit our website at www.safeguard.com. About Crescendo Bioscience ® , Inc. Crescendo Bioscience is a molecular diagnostics company focused in rheumatology and located in South San Francisco, CA. Crescendo Bioscience develops quantitative, objective, blood tests to provide rheumatologists with deeper clinical insights to help enable more effective management of patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.CrescendoBio.com. About Vectra™ DA Vectra DA is the only multi-biomarker blood test for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease activity that integrates the concentrations of 12 serum proteins associated with RA disease activity into a single objective score to help physicians make more informed treatment decisions. Vectra DA testing is performed at Crescendo Bioscience’s state-of-the-art CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) facility and test results are reported to the physician 7 to 10 days following receipt of the blood sample. Physicians can receive test results via standard mail, by fax or via the private web portal, VectraView. For more information on Vectra DA, please visit, www.Vectra-DA.com. Forward-looking Statements Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements contained in this release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Our forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. The risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, include, among others, managing rapidly changing technologies, limited access to capital, competition, the ability to attract and retain qualified employees, the ability to execute our strategy, the uncertainty of the future performance of our companies, acquisitions and dispositions of companies, the inability to manage growth, compliance with government regulations and legal liabilities, additional financing requirements, the effect of economic conditions in the business sectors in which our companies operate, and other uncertainties described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Many of these factors are beyond our ability to predict or control. In addition, as a result of these and other factors, our past financial performance should not be relied on as an indication of future performance. The Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements or other information contained in this news release.
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