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Rhonda Rhyne, CEO and President of Prevencio.
Rhonda Rhyne, CEO and President of Prevencio.

Prevencio is looking to raise a total of $20 million in venture funding in the coming months to continue developing new patent-pending blood tests that accurately diagnose coronary artery disease and can predict cardiac issues like heart attacks.

The company’s four different HART tests — developed in partnership with University of Pittsburgh, Massachusetts General Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine — are designed to diagnose and predict cardiac issues more accurately than current tests, according to Prevencio CEO and President Rhonda Rhyne, a biotech veteran who previously served as president and COO of CardioDynamics.

Although each HART test predicts or diagnoses a different cardiac issue, Rhyne explained that they each work by measuring the levels of several proteins that point to cardiac issues. However, unlike other tests, Prevencio then uses an algorithm to analyze those protein levels.

The HART CAD uses this data to determine if a patient has coronary artery disease. According to Prevencio’s website, current tests are frequently inconclusive, meaning patients who do not have coronary artery disease can suffer unnecessary procedures.

“When patients enter an emergency room with chest pain, many are sent to a cardiac catheter lab,” said Rhyne in an interview with GeekWire. “But anywhere from 30-50 percent of the patients are not obstructed. That’s why we need a rapid turn-around test, instead of sending patients to a cath lab, which costs $39,000.”

HART has three additional prognostic tests, which can “predict, within one year, if someone would have a myocardial infarct (heart attack), develop heart failure, or die of cardiovascular death,” Rhyne said.

According to a SEC filing today, Prevencio raised $675,000 of a $2 million round. Some of that cash will be used to present the results of HART’s clinical trials, which are being conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital. Rhyne said Prevencio will be presenting the results at a major cardiology conference in August or November.

“After that we will complete our test kit,” said Rhyne, adding that the company will then begin pursuing a total of $20 million, including the most recent funds.

“With the $20 million, we will be completing development of our test kit, conducting the pivotal FDA trial, and submitting for approval,” Rhyne said.

The company’s board includes some heavy hitters in the health sciences and biotech arena, including Dr. John F. Cramer III of Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett and a former Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington, School of Medicine and Perry Fell, the co-founder of Seattle Genetics and former CEO of NanoString Technologies.  

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