By Brady Huggett

Ardais Corp., entering a period of growth and scale-up, completed a private placement of $33.5 million.

"We have been able to demonstrate proof of concept with our first financing and are expanding on that proof with this financing," said Eric Gordon, CEO of Ardais.

Ardais, of Lexington, Mass., provides clinical materials and information needed for drug discovery research and development to academe and industry. Gordon said the money from the private placement would be used for bulking up.

"We are talking about a rapid scale-up here," he said, adding that the company has 33 employees now and is hiring.

Participants in the round included new investors EGS Healthcare Capital Partners, of New York; The Kaufmann Fund, of New York; Pequot Private Equity Fund, of New York; The CIT Group, of Livingston, N.J.; and Radius Venture Partners and Silicon Valley Partners, both of Boston. Existing investors that participated are Advanced Technology Ventures, Advent Health Care and Life Sciences, Bessemer Venture Partners and BioVentures, all of Boston.

Ardais became a full-time company in April 1999, Gordon said, and was founded by seven people. Gordon, Heidi Wyle, Alan Buckler, Martin Ferguson and Stuart Schnitt all are part of the executive management team, while Matthew Scott and Richard Myers are on the scientific advisory board. The group wanted to enable large-scale high-throughput analysis of disease from a clinical setting, Gordon said. It has raised about $45 million to date, and Gordon said the recent funding is enough for the next two years.

"We've been able to put together an outstanding team, put together collaborations with academic institutions," Gordon said. "We have begun shipping products to customers; we have revenues. We are now building a very scaleable business." n