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Single-Cell Sequencing Startup Mission Bio Raises $30 Million

Mission Bio, a startup that’s developed a single-cell sequencing platform, announced Thursday that it’s raised $30 million in a Series B funding round.

The South San Francisco-based company’s machine and software, called the “Tapestri platform,” launched commercially last October and has since been put to use studying cellular mutations inside tumors of diseases like acute myeloid leukemia at cancer research centers such as MD Anderson and Stanford University, and at pharmaceutical companies—though Mission’s cofounder and CEO, Charlie Silver, isn’t disclosing which ones yet, he says.

While traditional sequencing methods show the average molecular profile of all the cells in a patient’s sample, Tapestri’s single-cell capability allows researchers to scrutinize the DNA in any individual cell. For a typical run, including the sequencing, it costs customers $1,000 to $2,000, says Silver.

Earlier this month MD Anderson Cancer Center principal investigator Dr. Koichi Takahashi presented data at the American Society of Hematology meeting, which used Mission’s Tapestri platform, showing an “atlas” of driver mutations in over 300,000 acute myeloid leukemia cells sequenced from 70 patients. (Takahashi did not receive funding from Mission Bio, though other researchers who worked on the study own equity in Mission or are employees of Mission.)

“Honestly, that’s the part that excites me the most, because of the work that customers are doing really in service of their patients on the platform,” Silver says of the research in blood cancer.

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