Aiming to launch its Xanthon Xpression Analysis System next year, Xanthon Inc. raised $12 million in a Series D preferred stock financing for high-throughput screening efforts.

"We [would] never say this will be our last financing, we expect it to take us well into the launch," said Peter Heath, vice president of finance and chief financial officer of Xanthon.

The company, based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., intends to start in the third quarter of this year beta site product evaluations of the system.

Xanthon's system employs electrochemical technology that directly detects user-defined target nucleic acids without using exogenous labels, such as those necessary in other techniques for nucleic-acid detection, which require fluorescent, chemiluminescent or radioactive labels. Better sensitivity lets Xanthon sensors detect some nucleic acid sequences without amplification, and faster.

"Right now, we're concentrating on commercialization of the first product," Heath said. "After that, we think the breadth of application [of the technology] is pretty wide."

Also next year, Xanthon expects to introduce its products for single nucleotide polymorphism analysis.

"That'll be the follow-on product," Heath said. "It's actually just a mild modification of the first one."

Investors in the financing include Intersouth Partners, Noro-Moseley Partners, Franklin Street Partners, Cordova Technology Partners, the Aurora Funds, Centennial Venture Partners Fund and The North Carolina Technology Development Authority. - Randall Osborne