BioWorld International Correspondent

Gyros AB raised SEK145 million (US$19.8 million) in a third financing round to fund continued commercialization of its CD-based microfluidics technology, bringing its total funding to date to SEK739 million.

Scandinavian Life Science Venture, of Stockholm, Sweden, led the transaction, which attracted a mix of Swedish and international investors, including Investor Growth Capital, Schroder Ventures Life Sciences, 3i plc, Ettena Förvaltnings AB, Swedish Industrial Development Fund, InnovationsKapital, Health & Brand Capital and Life Equity Sweden.

The company has - for the present time at least - shelved ambitions to undergo an initial public offering. Although that had been part of its long-term strategy, President and CEO Maris Hartmanis told BioWorld International that a trade sale now would represent a more likely exit route for investors, although no such move is under consideration.

"We are not actively pursuing any exit strategy at this time, no," he said.

Gyros, of Uppsala, Sweden, was spun out of the Amersham Biosciences arm of London-based Amersham plc in 2000 and has concentrated on the proteomics market. Its CDs, which have 96 individual reaction wells, are designed to miniaturize, automate and accelerate laboratory workflows. A workstation and application-specific software integrate the system with other lab equipment.

Its first marketed product, Gyros Maldi SP1, was designed to speed sample preparation for Maldi Mass Spectrometry. More recently, it launched Gyros Bioaffay, which supports nanoliter-scale immunoassays for protein quantification. Next in line is IMAC (Immobilized Methyl Affinity Chromatography) Maldi, which, when used in conjunction with a mass spectrometer, allows scientists to study the phosphorylation status of peptides and proteins. That is expected to be launched in the first quarter of the new year, Hartmanis said.

In parallel, the company is moving into the diagnostics sphere and is engaged in discussions with a number of companies, aiming to become a development and manufacturing partner. It has not yet decided if it will team up with one player on an exclusive basis or enter several nonexclusive relationships. The latest cash injection has, Hartmanis said, given the company "the luxury of choice" in determining the best business model.