CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- KEW Group Inc. (KEW), a privately held oncology services company located in Cambridge, Mass., announced today the recent closing of a private round of financing with Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH) and The Bolyston Street Group. KEW is focused on providing state-of-the-art diagnostic services to help inform and advance community oncologists' treatment decisions for their patients.
"We believe there is a strong need to arm community oncologists with rapidly advancing genomics-based tumor diagnostic tools that, until now, have largely been available only at large cancer treatment and academic centers," commented M. Kathleen Behrens Wilsey, KEW CEO. "We are very pleased with this financing milestone, as it provides us with critical capital to continue to build and expand the reach of our offerings to community oncologists across the country."
John P. Sullivan, VP Strategy and Corporate Development, Cardinal Health, will represent the company's investment on KEW's Board of Directors. Additionally, KEW and Cardinal Health will continue to develop a strategic relationship to mutually benefit KEW's oncology testing services and Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions' relationship with community oncologists. The Boylston Street Group, a group of private investors in the Boston area, will be represented on KEW's Board of Directors by Valerie Jo Friedman. Leerink Partners, LLC served as the exclusive placement agent for the financing.
"Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions is pleased to partner with KEW for the provision of molecular diagnostics services to the patients and practices we serve," said Meg Fitzgerald, President of Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions. "KEW not only has developed leading-edge tumor genetic testing; they share our vision of supporting community oncology practices and innovating to improve cancer care for patients everywhere. By investing in the company, we further ensure the strength and alignment of our partnership and our combined ability to continue to develop information and service offerings that make a difference today and for the future."
KEW also cited recent changes to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) as a potential catalyst for encouraging uptake among clinicians of services such as those offered by KEW. One relevant update involves a recommendation for clinicians to use multiplex, next-generation sequencing analysis for lung cancer patients; another identifies the importance of testing KRAS and NRAS genes for colorectal cancer patients.
"The NCCN Guidelines are a recognized standard in cancer care and serve to help clinicians make more informed decisions when treating patients," commented Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D., a cancer geneticist and founder of KEW. "We believe the expanded recommendations for implementing more comprehensive testing and analysis of genetic alterations for many different tumor types will translate to better patient outcomes."
KEW recently launched its first product offering, CancerPlexSM, a highly versatile and comprehensive gene testing panel to evaluate genetic changes in a patient's tumor to help oncologists effectively manage treatment options. The company provides its testing services to community oncologists located in a wide range of geographical locations in the United States, as well as internationally.
About KEW Group Inc.
KEW Group Inc. (KEW) provides multiple services to oncologists to assist in treatment decisions for cancer patients. KEW provides genomic testing for patient tumor samples (KEW MDx) and genomic information important to diagnostic and treatment decisions that assist physicians and are detailed in cancer-specific Therapeutic Pathways (KEW TPx). KEW MDx's CancerPlexSM test is the first of the company's diagnostic services designed to assist community oncologists in providing state-of-the-art genomic testing that previously had been available only at large cancer treatment and academic centers. KEW is currently working with seven oncology practices in six different states to refine Therapeutic Pathways for seven types of cancer (breast, colorectal, lung, melanoma, lymphoma, thyroid and pancreatic). These seven practices all participate in a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Grant, which is developing and testing a Community Oncology Medical Home model, known as COME HOME. The grant is administered through Innovative Oncology Business Solutions, Inc., the organization that oversees and manages COME HOME. KEW's Treatment Pathways integrate newly emerging cancer genomic information that follows evidence standards essential to how and when to perform molecular tests, as well as inform care decisions.
KEW Investor Contact: M. Kathleen Behrens Wilsey Kathy@kewgroup.com (415) 457-9898
SOURCE KEW Group Inc.