Join 1363 founders getting motivational stories of how other founders started and grew their online businesses

Decipher Biosciences: Tearing Up the Veil of the Unknown


Battling a dreadful disease is never easy, but Decipher Biosciences might just turn things around!

News that someone has cancer will forever be harsh. However, with the help of Decipher Biosciences, patients can feel more confident about the course of their treatment.

Decipher Biosciences is an oncology company that focuses on urologic cancers. The development of their tests provides information, which previously wasn’t available to physicians. With Decipher’s genome tests, doctors can receive more info about a patient’s tumor and its biology. With the type of info available, physicians can determine the right therapy, which can and is improving patient outcomes.

Elai Davicioni, the founder, president, and chief scientific officer of Decipher Biosciences, launched the company back in 2008 in San Diego, California.

There have been tremendous strides over the years with the development of Decipher testing, which helps out millions of people, in the long run, so stick around to know the whole story.

Garnering Education

After graduating from high school in 1999, Elai Davicioni enrolled at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, where, after three years, he managed to get his Bachelor's and Master’s degree in Biophysics. Later, Elai continued his education, striving to get his Ph.D. In 2001, he started his education at the University of Southern California, where after five years, he earned himself a Ph.D. in Pathobiology.

After finishing his studies, Elai decided that he wanted to launch a company that will deal with creating and developing diagnostic equipment and other healthcare services. In 2008, he founded Genome Diagnostics Inc., which will later be turned into GenomeDx Biosciences, ultimately becoming a subsidiary of Decipher Biosciences, Inc.

Establishing a Promising Company

Determining stages of cancer has been a pretty difficult task before the founding of Decipher Biosciences. Until Elai founded his company and started to work on the development of a specific test that can determine the true nature of the tumors, and later determine the appropriate therapy, physicians would classify every case as either in the early stage or later stage.

With hard work and the help of other scientists and doctors, Elai’s company managed to develop a genome test that would improve the outcome for millions of cancer patients, in the years to come.

Deciphering the Cure

To this day, Decipher Biosciences has developed two different kinds of tests for prostate cancer and bladder cancer. Both of these tests uncover information about the nature of the tumor and help doctors determine the right therapy for their patients.

The Decipher test on prostate cancer is one of the tests that the company has developed and implemented over the years, validating it with 40 studies, which were done across almost 30,000 patients. Using this type of testing would bring clarity and confidence, meaning that a patient will know where they fall in the spectrum of risk, and will later be given suitable treatment.

Used together with clinical information, the Decipher prostate test determines the biology and the risk of the patient’s cancer. The initial test, when done, will cover 7 cancer pathways, like invasion and metastasis, androgen signaling, metabolism, angiogenesis, growth and differentiation, proliferation and cell death, and immune activity and response.

This test was developed while treating cancer patients at the Mayo Clinic, which had either metastatic or non-metastatic prostate cancer. The whole transcriptome test utilizes 22 coding and non-coding biomarkers, which stretch seven different cancer pathways. Utilizing those 22 coding and non-coding biomarkers provides a more precise prediction of risk.

There are two different types of Decipher prostate tests — Decipher Prostate Biopsy Genomic Classifier and Decipher Prostate RP Genomic Classifier.

The first type of test is for patients that had already undergone a biopsy, and it will help determine if they are in need of active surveillance, monotherapy or multi-modality, or intensified therapy. The other type of Decipher prostate test is intended for patients after they have had a radical prostatectomy.

Delivering Hope

The tests conducted by Decipher Biosciences will determine if patients will benefit from undergoing salvage radiotherapy and the addition of androgen deprivation therapy. Decipher’s tests give all Gleason scores, all PSA values and are meant for all stages.

Other than the prostate test, the company yielded yet another groundbreaking test, i.e. the test for bladder cancer. To this day, this is the only genomic subtyping tool, which can be used by physicians in the US who are treating patients that suffer from locally-advanced bladder cancer.

With the help of this test, physicians can accurately determine bladder tumors into four molecular subtypes. Having this information, doctors can later make the decision if the patient will benefit from getting neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC), before any radical cystectomy. Like the first type, this test also gives out all the Gleason scores, all PSA values (including undetectable, rising, and persistently elevated PSA) and it is meant for all stages.

The Decipher bladder genomic classifier is suggested to men and women who are considering getting neoadjuvant chemotherapy prior to surgery. The classifier will show the survival benefit from neoadjuvant chemotherapy by molecular subtyping.

This classifier has been developed and validated by the 10 leading cancer centers in North America and Europe. In total, there have been around 775 patients that have seen the benefits from taking the test, and are enjoying a brighter future thanks to proper diagnosis.

Fortifying the Finances

Today, Veracyte Inc. is the parent company of Decipher Biosciences and over the years, there have been numerous funding rounds. Formerly known as GenomeDx Biosciences, from 2008 until now, the company has had around 8 rounds of funding, amounting to investments over $99 million.

The last funding round occurred in March 2019, raising $13 million for Decipher Biosciences Venture. This was the first funding round hosted by the company, under its new label. Over the years, companies and organizations such as Baird Capital, CD-Venture, Calibrium (Zurich), EMBL Ventures, Julip Run Capital have all invested in the company.

At the beginning of 2021, the company filed with the SEC to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering, however, no pricing info has been released yet.

From the very beginning, the company has also been partnering up with various academic and pharmaceutical researchers and has been crafting and developing clinical tools that are meant to be used by physicians. Clinical trials have also been done with the goal of improving the outcomes of cancer patients.

A Bright Future Ahead

Decipher Biosciences is always eager to recruit new members to the team and collaborate with all kinds of pharmaceutical researchers. With their headquarters and CAP/CLIA laboratory located in San Diego, California, and their Research and Development facility in Vancouver, British Columbia, the company proudly employs more than 90 people and is always trying to increase the number of employees.

Dr. Badrinath Konety, a professor at the Department of Urology at the University of Minnesota and an Associate Director, Clinical Affairs & Clinical Research at the Masonic Cancer Center (MCC), has pointed out that the work that Decipher Biosciences have done over the years, especially with Decipher Bladder, is one of the most promising tools that physicians have as an aid in clinical decision-making.

Decipher Biosciences, Today

From the initial idea of Elai Davicioni, the current Chief Scientific Officer at Decipher Biosciences, and President and Chief Scientific Officer at GenomeDx Inc. (the subsidiary of Decipher Biosciences), to today, there have been massive strides in the development of the Decipher Prostate and Bladder testing.

Successfully fending off competitors like Civa Tech Oncology, Exagen, and Integrated Diagnostics, made Decipher Biosciences stand its ground, firmly and proudly.

Even though the company’s current testing is pretty much some of the best in the country, and can determine and receive crucial information about a patient’s cancer, Decipher Biosciences is constantly trying to improve.

There is no public information about any new or improved versions of the test yet, however, because of the passion that is put into these types of projects, we’re certain the world will be hearing more groundbreaking news about the company that’s deciphering the horrors of cancer.