Washington Editor

Guava Technologies Inc. raised $27 million in a Series D financing intended to support costs associated with expanding its marketing and sales capabilities as well as to help it develop new diagnostic products.

Its products, the PCA and PCA-96 cell analysis systems, are bench-top devices that simplify and automate single-cell analysis while offering integrated, high-throughput operations. PCA (personal cell analysis) is a smaller, manual system, while PCA-96 is the automated version.

As for its cash position, Rajen Dalal, company president and CEO, told BioWorld Today Guava likely has enough cash to take it to profitability. "It is a reasonable conclusion to draw that the business is growing very quickly," he said. "We now have two commercial products and we doubled the business last year in terms of revenue and expect to double it again this year. If we are able to stay on track, and we plan to, we should approach break-even by the end of next year or early 2005. That should leave us with enough dry powder to be able to continue to invest in product development, and technology and business collaborations with other small and large companies."

Since its inception in 1998, Guava, a Hayward, Calif.-based company, has raised $500,000 in an angel round, $3 million in a Series A round, $17.5 million in a B round, $23.5 million in its C round, and the $27 million Series D. (See BioWorld Today, June 22, 2001.)

"This is exciting for the company," Dalal said. "It will allow us to explore areas not just in the R&D life sciences, but also in clinical diagnosis and vaccine clinical trials. We also believe our system is quite uniquely positioned for the effort to help address global disease because it is a very small, robust easy-to-use system that can measure human immune cells with just a finger prick of blood."

The Series D financing was led by HLM Venture Partners, of Boston. Returning Series C investors included ProQuest Investments, of Princeton, N.J.; Fog City Fund, of Redwood Shores, Calif.; St. Paul Venture Capital, of Menlo Park, Calif.; and Abingworth Management Ltd., Skyline Ventures, and Yasuda Enterprise Development Co. Ltd., all of Palo Alto, Calif. Other investors were Granite Global Ventures, also of Palo Alto, MDS Capital Corp., of Cambridge, Mass.; Integra Ventures, of Seattle; Peninsula Equity Partners, of Menlo Park, Calif.; and Stanford University, of Stanford, Calif.

By way of expanding its business, Guava plans to develop new products focusing on cancer research, drug discovery, cell profiling, bioprocessing, clinical immunology and other fields.