Cleveland HeartLab Inc. (CHL), a leading specialty clinical laboratory and disease management company, today announced the completion of an $18.4-million Series B financing round. Excel Venture Management and HealthCare Ventures, both of Boston, led the round. The company's existing investors also participated.
The funds will support CHL's continued rapid growth, further accelerating market adoption of its advanced approach to assessing cardiovascular disease risk using biomarkers of inflammation. This approach includes the company's CardioMPO™ test for circulating myeloperoxidase, the anchor of its proprietary inflammation panel.
The company's five-biomarker inflammation panel offers broader prognostic coverage than traditional blood tests, enabling physicians to determine if and to what degree their patients are at risk for cardiovascular disease. Each test assesses a distinct pathway for identifying those individuals at greater risk of heart attack or stroke.
CHL's unique approach to cardiovascular disease risk assessment is focused on a multibillion-dollar market and the country's most pervasive and deadly health problem. More than 81 million Americans have developed some form of cardiovascular disease and 750,000 Americans die each year from heart disease and stroke.
The financing round will enable CHL to grow more rapidly by expanding its menu of tests with new proprietary biomarkers already in its pipeline and to more aggressively evaluate and in-license new biomarkers. The company plans to triple the footprint of its operations in Cleveland's Health-Tech Corridor to meet the growing demand for its current tests and to better support its new product development biomarker program.
"CHL's current panel of inflammation-related biomarkers allows physicians to better define those patients at risk for heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular events, as well as enabling them to determine where patients are on the spectrum of cardiovascular disease risk," said Marc S. Penn, M.D., Ph.D., a leading cardiovascular researcher and cardiologist who serves as the company's chief medical officer and is director of research at the Summa Cardiovascular Institute in Akron, Ohio. "The new biomarkers in our pipeline will further refine patient risk assessment and offer physicians new tools to better monitor treatment."
Biomarkers slated for future commercialization include dysfunctional HDL, which the company will launch in early 2012. CHL's dysfunctional HDL test will provide physicians with the ability to measure whether the "good" cholesterol HDL is functioning normally and lowering the "bad" cholesterol LDL as it should, enabling them to better tailor patient treatment.
"We are very excited to have a strong group of investors back us at this important time in our growth trajectory," said Jake Orville, president and chief executive officer of CHL. "CHL has established a strong track record of innovation, execution, performance and service. We are committed to continuing our extraordinary growth by accelerating broader adoption of our current test menu, which includes CardioMPO™, and offering new tests that will better serve doctors and their patients."