HayStack-LogoThe Johns Hopkins University researchers behind two of Baltimore's most successful biotech firms have founded a new company that has now raised $56 million to create a new diagnostic tool for cancer.

Haystack Oncology plans to use the funding from its series A round to kickstart a move into a large lab inside of City Garage in Port Covington, which was recently renamed Baltimore Peninsula. The company also plans to invest in more clinical trials to get additional data to support the effectiveness of Haystack's cancer detection blood test. The 50-person company, currently based at Hopkins' FastForwardU, plans to have a commercial launch in 2023.

The round closed in October and was led by Catalio Capital Management, with participation from Bruker, Exact Ventures, the venture arm of Exact Sciences, and Alexandria Venture Investments. Haystack also received funding from an undisclosed seed round in 2021.

The company was founded in 2021 by a team of several Hopkins researchers, including Thrive Earlier Detection Corp. co-founders Bert Vogelstein, Ken Kinzler and Nick Papadopoulos. Thrive is one of the more notable biotech success stories in Baltimore, having been acquired by Exact Sciences for over $2 billion in 2020. The three are also co-founders of Baltimore-based Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx), which was acquired by Lab Corp. in a deal worth up to $575 million that closed earlier this year.

Catalio Capital Management, which raised a massive $381 million fund earlier this year, also has ties to the Hopkins researchers and to Baltimore. Vogelstein's son Jacob is a co-founder of Catalio and Bert is a venture partner at the firm. Catalio spun out of Baltimore-based Camden Partners and is now based in New York but still retains an office in Harbor Point.

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