Lung cancer startup Maverix Medical snaps up diagnostic developer Cirrus Bio

After launching late last year, the lung cancer-focused startup Maverix Medical is reaching for the […]

After launching late last year, the lung cancer-focused startup Maverix Medical is reaching for the sky with the acquisition of diagnostic developer Cirrus Bio.

The Menlo Park, California-based Maverix said the purchase will establish a new testing division aimed at developing a multiomic catalog spanning lung cancer screening through disease management. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed.

“Lung cancer remains the largest cancer killer, by far. The only way to improve survival rates for this extremely aggressive disease is to catch it early and act decisively,” said serial medtech entrepreneur Duke Rohlen, who serves as Maverix’s executive chairman.

“This acquisition gives Maverix unparalleled technology, talent, and expertise in early cancer detection, and will serve as the foundation for a broader diagnostic portfolio with the potential to transform lung cancer care,” Rohlen added in the company’s announcement.

Maverix made its debut last November, with backing from Rohlen’s Ajax Health incubator as well as the investment firm KKR and devicemaker Hologic. The company started out by taking control of an FDA-cleared steerable lung biopsy needle platform, developed by KKR and Ajax’s portfolio venture Serpex Medical.

Now with the Phoenix-based Cirrus under its wing, Maverix will look to pair diagnostics with its interventional tools.

Cirrus’ co-founders, David Mallery and Scott Morris—its chief executive and chief scientific officers, respectively—will now take those titles to a dedicated outfit dubbed Maverix Dx, to develop new tech and pursue additional M&A and strategic investments, the company said. 

Mallery and Morris previously founded the Molecular Profiling Institute, a TGen spinout that was acquired by Caris in 2007; Paradigm Diagnostics and Viomics, both bought up by Exact Sciences in 2020; and the nonprofit International Genomics Consortium.

Serpex’s offerings, meanwhile, will continue under the name Maverix Med Device, led by Serpex founder and CEO Sasha Schrode. 

“As we evaluate the lung cancer market, we see tremendous unmet clinical need and a rich opportunity set for both internal development and acquisitions,” said Mallery. “We are far from the only ones working on this tough clinical problem, and we look forward to partnering with other innovators to discover and validate new techniques for improving lung cancer care.”

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