Cell culture testing technology developed by Kiyatec aims to help drug developers find out in preclinical trials whether a drug candidate will work in humans.

Now the Clemson University spinout is looking to advance its work with new tests for cancer efficacy and liver toxicity.

Kiyatec has closed on a series A round of financing that the company will use to develop those two tests. The Pendleton, South Carolina-based company did not disclose the total amount of the round. But securities filings show Kiyatec raised $2.8 million.

The financing was led by Nexus Medical and Technology Capital and Upstate Carolina Angel Network. Additional private investors also participated.

Kiyatec was founded in 2005 based on research from Clemson’s department of bioengineering. The company developed a sterile, three-dimensional platform to culture cells in three dimensions. Unlike the flat surface of a Petri dish, a three-dimensional testing platform provides a testing environment that more closely resembles the configuration of cells in the human body. Kiyatec said this testing environment will allow for preclinical testing of drugs candidates that better reflect a compound’s effect on humans.

“The ability to detect a compound that would otherwise fail in clinical trials, before it is used in humans or tested in animals, yields huge benefits,” CEO Matt Gevaert said in a statement. “Patients and doctors can focus more precious time and energy on future winners, resulting in significant cost reductions for both the industry and our healthcare system.”

Kiyatec’s product, called the 3DKUBE, is already commercially available.

The company also has a contract service arm that provides cell-based testing services to medical device companies and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.