A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

OpGen (Madison, Wisconsin) said that it 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 with the financing, 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.

OpGen said it 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 said it 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.”

The company said the applications of the new commercial optical mapping systems include clinical microbial analysis, forensic microbiology and the development of new molecular diagnostic products.

• AdvanDx (Woburn, Massachusetts) reported that it closed a $15 million Series C financing round from new investor bioMérieux (Marcy L’Etoile, France) and existing investors LD Pensions and SLS Venture.

The company said that this latest financing will be used to accelerate the commercialization of its product pipeline through its global sales and marketing operations as well as to expand its research and development activities.

The funding follows the recent announcement of AdvanDx’s exclusive distribution partnership with bioMérieux for its PNA FISH rapid in vitro diagnostic products for positive blood cultures in the U.S. Together with the funding, the distribution partnership secures a significant cash flow stream for AdvanDx, the company said.

AdvanDx’s suite of molecular diagnostic products is designed to provide pathogen identification in hours vs. days. Studies demonstrate that implementation of these products can lead to a significant reduction in intensive care unit related mortality due to Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections.

• ThromboVision (Houston), a biomedical diagnostics company, said it has completed a $4 million Series A convertible preferred stock financing, led by private equity firm National Healthcare Services and a group of private investors. The offering was oversubscribed.

The company will use the investment to fund clinical trials, build its infrastructure, advance the FDA approval process for its ThromboGuide (T-Guide) and launch its first product.

The T-Guide consists of a disposable test kit and a point-of-care base unit. The system will help physicians individualize antiplatelet therapy that they use to prevent heart attacks, strokes and stent occlusions.

“Our goal is to help physicians improve their cardiac patients’ lives through better assessment of their antiplatelet therapy with the ThromboGuide platelet function monitor. The Series A funding should allow us to advance the T-Guide through FDA approval and product launch, so we can get this life-saving technology in the hands of physicians for their patients,” said company President/CEO Edward Teitel, MD.

ThromboVision reported that it has also negotiated a $750,000 credit facility with SVB Silicon Valley Bank. The agreement provides both growth capital financing and a formula-based revolving line-of-credit component.

ThromboVision’s products are being designed to improve medical care by assisting physicians in diagnosing and managing critical cardiovascular risk factors, especially those related to platelet function and antiplatelet drug therapy.

Clinical Data (Newton, Massachusetts) reported that its board of directors authorized a 3-for-2 split of the company’s common stock in the form of a stock dividend of one share of the company’s common stock for every two outstanding.

The record date for the stock split is Sept. 24, 2007. The distribution of the stock dividend will be made on Oct. 1, and trading of Clinical Data shares on a split-adjusted basis will begin on Oct. 2.

After the stock split, the number of outstanding shares of Clinical Data stock will increase to about 20.5 million shares.

“We believe this stock split provides an opportunity to broaden our base of investors by making our stock more accessible while improving its liquidity,” said Drew Fromkin, president/CEO of Clinical Data.

Clinical Data’s PGxHealth division focuses on genetic test and biomarker development to help predict drug safety and efficacy, thereby reducing health care costs and improving clinical outcomes. Its Cogenics division provides molecular and pharmacogenomics services to both research and regulated environments. Its Vital Diagnostics division offers in vitro diagnostics solutions for the clinical laboratory.

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