Adaptive Biotechnologies has raised $195 million from investors to fund its work in mapping immune system response to cancer and other illnesses.
The Seattle firm, born in 2009 from technology licensed from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, works to decode the immune system’s likely response to treatments, technology that researchers or doctors can use to guide treatment of patients. Adaptive Chief Executive Chad Robins likens the company’s work to developing “an X-ray for the immune system.”
The just-completed fundraising, announced Wednesday, includes investments from a roster of hedge funds led by Waltham, Mass.-based Matrix Capital Management, as well as more cash from existing investors and an unnamed “large healthcare investor.”
Investment around a January acquisition valued Adaptive at more than $500 million. That figure has increased with the latest investments, though Robins declined to specify by how much. The company employs about 170 people, he said.
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Data from Renaissance Capital show 10 biotechnology companies are set to tap the stock market this week in initial public offerings. All plan to raise less than Adaptive just did in private markets.
Adaptive’s investment round also tops the $134 million raised by fellow Seattle immune system researcher Juno Therapeutics in August. Juno subsequently sold stock to the public, raising $264 million in a December IPO.
Robins said in an interview that he was in no rush to pursue a public listing for Adaptive. Keeping Adaptive private gives the company the ability to avoid the pressure of public investor relations and quarterly financial disclosures in a fast-changing industry, he said.
“The amount of capital raised provides more options, and provides the option to not go public if we opt not to,” he said. “This is very early innings of what we’re doing. Our investors are long-term oriented, and believe it’s going to take time for certain of these businesses to mature and pay out.”
Adaptive in January bought San Francisco-based blood cancer researcher Sequenta after raising $94 million to help fund the purchase. In 2014, the company raised $105 million from Connecticut hedge fund Viking Global Investors.
“This all goes toward more precision in medicine,” Robins said in an interview in January. “To be able to guide clinical decisionmaking by knowing the properties of the immune system, whether it’s blood or a tumor, a clinician is now able to make more precise decisions” using Adaptive’s tools, he said.