By Kim Coghill

Washington Editor

Prolinx Inc. said it will use the $16.8 million raised in a private preferred stock offering to financially support further development of its protein microarray product line and its molecular interaction analysis system.

Founded in 1995, Prolinx has developed three technology platforms that are used to isolate, detect and manipulate biological molecules.

Since its inception, the company has raised about $38 million in five rounds of financing, said Jim Mahoney, president and CEO of Bothell, Wash.-based Prolinx. Prolinx has 34 employees.

¿With the evolution of bioresearch and drug discovery toward the analysis of proteins and other complex systems, the demand for Prolinx technologies and products is increasing,¿ Mahoney said in a prepared statement. ¿This funding will allow us to accelerate the release of new products and to invest in the infrastructure required to market, sell and support these new products.¿

New investors in this round include Stephens Group, of Little Rock, Ark., and Wheatley Partners, of New York. Existing investors who participated again were Tullis-Dickerson & Co. Inc., of Greenwich, Conn.; BA Venture Partners, of Foster City, Calif.; Axiom Venture Partners, of San Francisco; Technology Funding, of Palo Alto, Calif.; JD Javelin Capital Fund LP, of Birmingham, Ala.; MDS Ventures Pacific Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia; and Sofinnova Ventures Inc., of San Francisco.

Mahoney told BioWorld Today part of the funding will be used to advance the open platform protein array product line under which Prolinx will make tools available for other companies to construct their own arrays. Once the market matures, Prolinx will make arrays of specific proteins that are in demand.

Also, the company will pay for continued development of the Octave Molecular Interaction Analysis System, scheduled to be on the market early next year. The system allows for the label-free analysis of molecular interaction, and it provides kinetic parameters on those interactions.

RapXtract Dye Terminator Removal Kit, another Prolinx technology, was released eight months ago, Mahoney said. The product is a purification solution for DNA sequencing. The technology is based on paramagnetic particles that allow easy manipulation and require no specialized reagents or equipment.

The company¿s Versalinx Chemical Affinity Tools, commercialized in May 2000, are based on the interaction of synthetic molecules including phenylboronic acid and salicylhydroxamic acid. The tools enable the formation of bioconjugates for immobilization, purification and analysis.

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