Ascendant Dx™ Closes Funding Round and Expands Board of Directors

A funding round of $2 million will help biotech firm carry out clinical trials and commercialization of early breast cancer detection test.

Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Vancouver, Washington – May 20, 2014 – The average non-high risk American woman will undergo at least one, if not more, biopsies to evaluate a suspicious mass within her lifetime. Women within the high-risk population will undergo multiple biopsies as well as endure more frequent follow up breast imaging tests. The costs associated with biopsy and follow up imaging procedures in the US exceeds $2.3B per year. In an effort to provide an alternative to biopsy, as well as reduce overall medical costs, Ascendant Dx’s first product, MelodyDx™, will be a panel of biomarkers, which distinguishes a malignant breast mass from benign tissue.

“MelodyDx is a patent-pending biomarker panel, which distinguishes differences in proteins present in human tears in order to detect breast cancer,” says Omid Moghadam, CEO, Ascendant Dx. “The goal of our screening tool is to improve breast cancer detection at earlier stages. Closing this round will help us bring this and other innovative new diagnostic tests to market, starting with our breast screening product.”

Investors in the oversubscribed round include a mix of strategic and private investors, as well as Arkansas Economic Development Authority, and Arkansas Science and Technology Administration. In addition to completing its successful funding round, Ascendant Dx also has expanded its Board of Directors.

Recently appointed board member Brigitte Piniewski, MD, is the chief medical officer of PeaceHealth Laboratories, of Vancouver, Washington. The other new appointee, Ran Whitehead, who will serve as board observer, is the chief executive officer of PeaceHealth Laboratories. PeaceHealth Laboratories has operations in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and offers specialty laboratory testing across the United States.

“The addition of two high level executives from PeaceHealth Laboratories, an organization known for innovation in high complexity clinical diagnostics, will contribute to our success in introduction of new tests to market,” notes Moghadam. The new members bring the total number of board members to five.

Ascendant Dx, an Arkansas-based biotech company, develops and commercializes high-value proteomics-based diagnostic tests. The firm focuses on areas of diagnostics where conclusive diagnostic tests are not yet available. Ascendant’s tests combine the latest discoveries in proteomics with proven diagnostic platforms, aiming for tests that are simpler, more accurate and widely available. Ascendant Dx, LLC is a VIC Technology Venture Development™ portfolio company.