West Coast Editor

Cellomics Inc. a company that was into functional research before functional research was cool said it is raising up to $20 million in a Series D financing.

The financing, led by Oxford Bioscience Partners, of Boston, will help advance the firm’s efforts with its High Content Screening platform. Integrated by the technology are fluorescent reagents, kits, cell lines, multiparametric assays, instrumentation (both fixed endpoint and kinetics systems), informatics and cellular bioinformatics tools to define cellular functions of genes and proteins.

As part of the deal, Alan Walton, a general partner at Oxford, will become chairman of Cellomics’ board of directors. Walton has made founding investments in the likes of Human Genome Sciences Inc., of Rockville, Md.; Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md.; Exelixis Inc., of South San Francisco; and Geron Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., and is a board member and chairman of several other firms.

In late October, Cellomics completed a $30 million private placement of Series C preferred stock, and the next month withdrew its initial public offering, proposed in March 2000, citing market conditions. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 1, 2001.)

The original IPO filing had sought $100 million. Neither the number of shares nor the stock price was disclosed, but the company estimated that the money from the offering along with its existing cash could fund operations through 2001. On Sept. 5, the company filed an amended prospectus, anticipating it would offer 6 million shares in the range of $16 to $18 each. (See BioWorld Today, March 8, 2000.)

Late last month, the firm, which recorded a 38 percent increase in revenue in 2001 over 2000, took what it called “action to drive [it] towards profitability by the end of 2002/early 2003, and position the organization for the future.” All operations were reviewed and realigned, and 50 positions eliminated.

Company officials could not be reached for comment Friday.