Tumor-Spotting Startup Vergent Bioscience Lands $21.5M
John Santini, CEO of Vergent Bioscience

Tumor-Spotting Startup Vergent Bioscience Lands $21.5M

The Minneapolis-based comapny says the money will help fund current and future clinical trials.
John Santini, CEO of Vergent Bioscience

A Minneapolis biotech startup focused on tumor detection has pulled in $21.5 million in a Series B financing round.

Known as Vergent Bioscience, the startup is developing a fluorescent imaging agent designed to help physicians locate “difficult-to-find” tumors. The company refers to the product as VGT-309.

Florida-based venture capital firm Orlando Health Ventures led the latest round of funding, according to a news release issued Tuesday. Other investors included robotic-assisted surgery company Intuitive Surgical Inc. and health-focused venture groups Windham Venture Partners and Rex Health Ventures.

Biotech veteran John Santini serves as Vergent’s CEO. “Our previous clinical studies have validated the potential of VGT-309, and these additional funds will enable us to efficiently advance our current and future clinical trials in lung cancer,” Santini said in the news release.

The company has performed clinical trials in Australia, and it has launched another round of trials at the University of Pennsylvania. The Australian trials provided “compelling safety and efficacy data,” according to the company, which has only two full-time employees.

VGT-309 is administered to patients via infusion before a surgery.

To date, Vergent Bioscience has raised a total of $34 million. The company was founded in 2016.