Madison, Wis., July 10, 2018 – Gregor Diagnostics Inc., a molecular diagnostics company developing a groundbreaking at-home screening test for prostate cancer, today announced the closing of a $900k round of seed financing.
The new patient-friendly test Gregor is developing will be the first non-invasive way to accurately detect prostate cancer at the earliest stages. Critically, it will also be the first diagnostic to distinguish between different forms of the cancer, so treatment can be tailored accordingly. As a result, Gregor will be able to accurately send men with more aggressive prostate cancer to life-saving treatment, while also sparing any unnecessary and potentially risky invasive biopsies and treatments for men with indolent forms of the disease.
“Prostate cancer is the second deadliest cancer for men in the US,” said Gregor Diagnostics CEO, Tobias Zutz. “In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer deaths are expected to be up 9% in 2018. But screening rates have actually been declining since 2008. That’s largely due to shortcomings and inaccuracies with the current screening methods,” Mr. Zutz said. “And that means that we are missing aggressive prostate cancers where early detection can save lives. We started Gregor because we believe that we shouldn’t just abandon prostate cancer screening altogether, but rather we should go out there and develop a better screening test ourselves.”
“This financing will allow Gregor to demonstrate the efficacy of our test in a set of patient samples,” Mr. Zutz continued. “We’re really trying to tackle this problem from both angles by decreasing overdiagnosis and overtreatment while enabling more effective detection of aggressive prostate cancer, and this is an important first step toward that goal.”
The financing was led by First Round and Green Park & Golf Ventures with participation from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg of Flatiron Health, and follow on investment from Health Wildcatters.
“We’re thrilled to back Toby on his journey to make a massive change in the way prostate cancer is detected. Diagnostics can play an outsized role in patient and population health, as they can have an extreme impact on curbing the use of unnecessary and expensive treatments and procedures,” said Josh Kopelman, a partner at First Round who has lead the venture capital firm’s investment in other companies making a difference in health care, such as Flatiron Health and Clover Health. “More accurate diagnosis of any disease will lower overall healthcare costs by eliminating the use of ineffective interventions. Unfortunately, diagnostics basic research and companies are undervalued and underfunded,” Mr. Kopelman continued.
“At Green Park and Golf Ventures, we look for opportunities to make a difference in the world. When Gregor Diagnostics is successful in this venture, it will truly be a breakthrough in the way prostate cancer is diagnosed leading to better treatment and outcomes around the world,” said Carl Soderstrom, partner at Green Park and Golf Ventures. “We are proud to be investors and supporters in Toby’s endeavor, and excited he and the company are graduates of the Health Wildcatters program.”
Tobias Zutz, Gregor Diagnostics
About Gregor Diagnostics
Gregor Diagnostics Inc. (www.gregordiagnostics.com) is a molecular diagnostics startup company developing a groundbreaking new screening test for prostate cancer. Gregor Diagnostics’ patient-friendly test will be the first diagnostic to detect prostate cancer at the earliest stages of the disease and differentiate between indolent and aggressive cancer upon detection. This will result in decreased overdiagnosis and overtreatment of indolent prostate cancer, and more effective detection and management of aggressive prostate cancer.
About First Round
First Round is a seed-stage venture firm focused on building a vibrant community of technology entrepreneurs and companies, including Uber, Flatiron Health, Square, and Warby Parker. Through custom-built software, incredible in-person experiences, and a host of other unique services, we help tiny companies get big while constantly reimagining the role of venture capital. firstround.com
About Green Park & Golf Ventures
Green Park & Golf, built on over 50 years of operational and financial experience, seeks investment opportunities that offer above-market returns for its investors. Led by Clay Heighten, M.D., Carl Soderstrom, and JR Garcia, the Firm delivers strategic solutions, financial backing and a reliable network to its portfolio companies. Since inception, Green Park & Golf has invested in over 60 companies. The Dallas-based Firm is currently looking for investment opportunities in early-stage healthcare focused companies. gpgventures.com
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) helps steward the cycle of research, discovery, commercialization and investment for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Founded in 1925 as an independent, nonprofit foundation, WARF manages more than 1,700 licensing agreements and an investment portfolio of $2.6 billion as it funds university research, obtains patents for campus discoveries and licenses inventions to industry. For more information, visit warf.org.
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