Washington Editor

NimbleGen Systems Inc. raised $12.5 million in a Series D round of financing, bringing the total amount raised to $32.5 million, since it was founded in 1999.

NimbleGen, a spin-off of the University of Wisconsin, both of Madison, provides high-density microarray products and services to pharmaceutical companies as well as academia and government research labs, Robert Palay, CEO and chairman of NimbleGen, told BioWorld Today. The company's patented technology is called Maskless Array Synthesizer, and it provides oligonucleotide array design, manufacturing, hybridization and analysis services.

With the $12.5 million, Palay said the company has "sufficient capital to achieve profitability."

Regarding the influx of cash, Palay said "It is a testimony to our team and our technology that not only did we attract a new strategic investor, but our current investors all invested in the round."

The financing was led by Schott Nexterion, of Mainz, Germany, the life sciences division of the Schott Group, a European-based manufacturing company.

In a prepared statement, Dirk van den Broek, Schott Nexterion's CEO, said, "The NimbleGen business model fits closely with Schott's strategic plan for investing in innovative microarray technology platforms. We are building on our well-established uncoated and coated flat glass products for DNA microarrays and investing in new products and unique microarray technologies."

Meanwhile, NimbleGen snagged a new investor, ITX Corp., of Tokyo.

ITX is the major shareholder in GeneFrontier, NimbleGen's exclusive distributor in Japan. In early April, NimbleGen released a statement saying it had entered an agreement with GeneFrontier for Japanese and other Asian-Pacific markets.

Returning investors in the round were Skyline Ventures, of Palo Alto, Calif.; Tactics II Investments LLC, of Northbrook, Ill.; Baird Venture Partners, of Milwaukee; Venture Investors Management LLC; the State of Wisconsin Investment Board; and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, all of Madison, Wis.

In March 2000, NimbleGen opened a genomics production and service facility in Reykjavik, Iceland. Also, Chemogenix, NimbleGen's wholly owned subsidiary located in Germany, creates chemistries for use in nucleic acid and protein arrays.

The company employs 52 people.