Healthcare Industry News: Exact Sciences
News Release - September 12, 2007
OpGen Announces $23.6 Million Series A FinancingCHL Medical Partners, Highland Capital Partners and Versant Ventures Lead Round to Help Transform Clinical Microbiology
MADISON, Wis., Sept. 12 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- OpGen, Inc., today announced that the company has raised $23.6 million in equity financing. The round was led by CHL Medical Partners, Highland Capital Partners and Versant Ventures, with previous investor Mason Wells also participating. In conjunction, CHL's Ron Lennox will become chairman of the Board of Directors and will also be joined on the board by Corey Mulloy and Bijan Salehizadeh from Highland, and Versant's Brian Atwood.
"We are delighted to partner with three top-tier venture firms to advance OpGen's efforts in the field of clinical microbiology, said Colin Dykes, Chief Scientific Officer of OpGen. "Each has a stellar track record and expertise in commercializing technologies for diagnostic and research applications, which will be critical as we continue to grow and expand our operations."
OpGen delivers breakthrough capabilities to identify microorganisms using a unique method to analyze DNA extracted directly from the microbial cells. "Optical Mapping" has been used by organizations worldwide for comparative genomic analysis of a range of organisms of importance to human health, including tracing the origins of food-poisoning cases such as the recent outbreak linked to contaminated spinach. With this new financing the company will develop commercial instrumentation systems for the clinical microbiology marketplace.
"Currently, clinical microbiology laboratories depend on isolating and growing microorganisms from clinical samples," stated Ron Lennox. "This is a lengthy process and provides only a simple taxonomic identification. The results are rarely timely enough to influence choice of therapy and can lead to excessive use of expensive broad-spectrum antibiotics. OpGen's new system will provide data capable of identifying bacteria down to the strain level, within a single shift."
"There is a huge unmet need for systems to rapidly and accurately diagnose clinical infections and to control nosocomial infections," added Corey Mulloy of Highland. "We believe that OpGen's technology is uniquely placed to meet this need and to transform clinical microbiology."
OpGen is actively expanding both its product development and senior management team. A retained search for a new Chief Executive Officer is currently under way.
OpGen is commercializing a novel single molecule DNA analysis technology, "Optical Mapping", for rapid identification and analysis of microorganisms. The system can be used to obtain detailed genetic information with no requirement for prior sequence data, PCR, cloning, or probes. Applications of the new commercial systems include clinical microbial analysis, forensic microbiology and the development of novel molecular diagnostic products. For more information, please visit http://www.opgen.com or call 603-441-8100.
About CHL Medical Partners
CHL Medical Partners (http://www.chlmedical.com) is a venture capital firm founded in 1990, managing funds with combined committed capital of more than $300 million. The company invests mainly in start-up and early stage companies in the medical sector. The principals of CHL have been associated with numerous successful companies including GeneOhm Sciences, Incyte Pharmaceuticals, Alexion, Celgene, Amicus Therapeutics, Sempercare, American Renal Associates, Genomic Health, Odyssey Healthcare and Ameripath.
About Highland Capital Partners
Highland Capital Partners was founded with the mission of helping great people build great companies. Since its inception in 1988, the firm has taken a sector-focused approach to investing in exceptional healthcare, information technology, communications and consumer companies. With $3 billion of committed capital, Highland has invested in and worked to create such firms as Archemix, Ask Jeeves, Avid Technology, CheckFree, Conor Medsystems, Exact Sciences, Helicos BioSciences, Lycos, MapQuest, Mitotix, Odyssey Healthcare, Origin MedSystems, Renal Treatment Centers, Sybase, US Labs and VistaPrint. For more information, visit Highland's web site at http://www.hcp.com.
About Versant Ventures
Versant Ventures (http://www.versantventures.com) is a leading healthcare- focused venture capital firm specializing in early-stage investments in medical devices, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, healthcare services, and healthcare information technology. Versant Ventures currently manages over $1 billion in committed capital having recently raised its third fund in November 2005, and is currently managing over 70 companies in its portfolio.
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