Editor’s note: Startup Spotlight is an exclusive feature from WRAL TechWire that brings attention to emerging entrepreneurial companies across the Triangle and North Carolina.


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – A little less than one year after raising $7.5 million in an oversubscribed Series B1 equity fundraising round, the genomics startup GeneCentric Therapeutics is bringing in more capital.

This time, the Research Triangle Park-based company opened a convertible note, and brought in $2.5 million from one of the firm’s existing investors, a spokesperson for the company told WRAL TechWire.

But additional money may come into the round, the spokesperson noted, as the securities filing allows the company to raise up to $3.5 million.

“GeneCentric opened a $3.5 million convertible note and has closed $2.5 million with IAG Capital, who is a current investor in the company,” the spokesperson said.  “We plan to use the funds to support further development and commercialization of our RNA-based diagnostic tests.”

Genomics startup GeneCentric in Durham raises $7.5M for commercialization effort

Importance of RNB-based diagnostic tests

WRAL TechWire interviewed company CEO Dr. Michael Milburn last December about the company’s products and commercialization plan, following the company’s funding round and an announced deal with Labcorp earlier in the year.

“Our technology is focused on developing RNA-based companion diagnostics for cancer therapies,” said Milburn at the time.  “Where we differ from a DNA approach is that we’ve developed a proprietary software, informatics, data science and machine learning approach to developing these RNA-based gene expression signatures that are highly transportable to any RNA diagnostics platform.”

Milburn went on to note that the RNA tests that the company is developing would “provide a dynamic range for how well a patient is going to respond to a particular therapy.”  Such tests could have important and meaningful impacts on cancer treatment, for instance, Milburn said.

“We hope that GeneCentric’s RNA-based tests will be the next generation of genomic-guided precision medicine,” he said at the time.

Now, the company has additional funding to support further development and seek commercialization opportunities, and more could be on the way.

GeneCentric CEO: It is ‘starting to become more challenging to fund a biotech company’