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Karius Raises $100M Co-Led by Khosla Ventures, 5AM Ventures and Gilde Healthcare, to Expand Access to Advanced Genomic Diagnostics in Infectious Disease, Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance Crisis

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New Board Members Appointed to Support Expansion

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., May 2, 2024-- Karius®, Inc., a world leader in genomic diagnostics for infectious disease, today announced it has secured $100 million in Series C funding. The round was co-led by Khosla Ventures and new investors 5AM Ventures and Gilde Healthcare. Also investing was new investor Seventure Partners, and existing investors Softbank Vision Fund 2, General Catalyst, HBM Healthcare Investments, Blue Water Life Sciences, Innovation Endeavors, Waycross Ventures, and others.

This investment will enable Karius to extend its reach beyond the 400 U.S. hospitals currently using the Karius Test®, an infectious disease diagnostic test that utilizes genomic analysis and artificial intelligence to detect over 1,000 pathogens from a single blood sample. The funding enables Karius to address increasing demand from healthcare providers to expand access to the Karius Test beyond the hospital setting. Additionally, it will support research into the broader health implications of Karius’ microbial cell-free DNA technology beyond infectious diseases.

“Every minute in the U.S., five cancer patients are admitted to the hospital due to infections—conditions that are often overshadowed by their primary diagnosis but are equally lethal, leading to nearly 1,000 deaths daily,” said Alec Ford, CEO of Karius. “This worrying reality emphasizes a critical and frequently overlooked gap in our healthcare system: the urgent need for faster diagnostic solutions. At Karius, we confront this challenge head-on. The Karius Test can reduce the time required to identify the cause of infections, as every minute counts for cancer patient survival. This additional $100 million will significantly enhance our capacity to deliver rapid diagnostic testing to more patients, where faster treatment saves more lives and significant healthcare resources.”

New Board Appointments

Karius also announced the appointment of three new board members joining recent additions, Dr. Norman Sharpless M.D., former National Cancer Institute Head, and Elizabeth O'Farrell, former Eli Lilly executive:

• Alex Morgan, M.D., Ph.D., Partner at Khosla Ventures
• Joep Muijrers, Ph.D., General Partner at Gilde Healthcare
• Andrew Booth, Venture Advisor to 5AM Ventures, and CFO of AbCellera Biologics

“Investing in Karius addresses critical gaps in healthcare diagnostics,” stated Alex Morgan, Partner at Khosla Ventures. “Traditional methods can be slow and can contribute to overuse of antibiotics, particularly risky for immunocompromised patients and fueling Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Precisely identifying pathogens allows for targeted treatment, minimizing the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and reducing the risk of AMR proliferation. This investment aligns with our commitment to advancing technologies for better public health outcomes.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Karius and to support the company in its journey to help deliver better care at lower cost to some of the most vulnerable patients out there,” added Joep Muijrers, General Partner at Gilde Healthcare.

“Karius’ strong revenue and growth illustrates how impactful the Karius Test is to clinical care. We are proud to co-lead the company’s Series C as Karius expands into new markets and moves to profitability,” added Andrew Booth, Venture Advisor, at 5AM Ventures.

“Over the years, we’ve witnessed firsthand the repeat impact Karius has made on patient management across numerous clinical settings,” added Vali Barsan, M.D., Karius Board Member and investor for SoftBank Investment Advisers. “Alongside our new as well as existing investors, we’re proud to extend our partnership with the Karius team as they continue to scale precision metagenomics for more rapid and definitive diagnostics that enable better patient outcomes.”

Karius’ Series C financing coincides with the positive results from the PICKUP1 trial, a landmark multi-center study enrolling 257 hospitalized adults with pneumonia and active hematologic malignancies across 10 leading medical centers, including Duke University Health, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. When added to the standard of care workup, the Karius Test detected 40% (21/52) more infections with a potential to change medical management for 81% (17/21) of these cases, demonstrating a significant additive diagnostic value in patients with blood cancers or bone marrow transplants. This first-of-its-kind study underscores the Karius Test's potential to transform the diagnostic journey and patient care.

“We’ve done extensive due diligence, and the value that Karius brings to patients and the healthcare system at large is abundantly clear,” said Isabelle De Cremoux, CEO and Managing Partner of Seventure Partners. “The clinical evidence clearly shows its potential to help more patients. We’re excited to join Karius at such a key strategic time for the company as they grow to support the wider commercialization of the Karius Test.”

Learn more about Karius’ solutions for infectious disease diagnostics by visiting kariusdx.com.

About Karius

Karius Inc., a global leader in liquid biopsy for infectious diseases, harnesses metagenomics, next-generation sequencing, and artificial intelligence (AI) to help enhance the precision and speed of pathogen diagnosis. The Karius Test®, used in over 400 healthcare institutions–including 90+ transplant centers and 40+ children’s hospitals across the United States–identifies more than 1,000 pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites from a single blood draw typically within a day of sample receipt.

A landmark study in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology found that the Karius Test detected 701 unique microbial taxa across a cohort of 15,000 patients, making it the largest study of its kind, demonstrating the capability of the Karius Test in pathogen identification. The Karius Test also has been incorporated into the diagnostics recommendations in the 2023 Duke-ISCVID Criteria for Infective Endocarditis.

References:

1. Bergin SP, et al. Clinical Infectious Diseases. October 2023

Contact:
Media Contact
Consort Partners for Karius
kariusdx@consortpartners.com

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