By Mary Welch

Immunicon Corp. raised $10.7 million in cash and the conversion of bridge loans that will help finance the development of products for the monitoring of cancer, as well as the screening, diagnosis and staging of the disease.

¿We initially started at trying to raise $6 million to $7 million, but we found some really great investors with deep pockets, and we decided to go ahead and try to raise $8 million to $10 million ¿ and then we even went a little above that,¿ said Edward Erickson, chairman and CEO of Huntingdon Valley, Pa.-based Immunicon.

Erickson refused to disclose how many shares were involved and their price.

The lead investors were MDS Capital Corp., of Toronto, and TL Ventures, of Wayne, Pa. Also participating were Canaan Partners, of Rowayton, Conn., which was instrumental in structuring the deal and which conducted additional due diligence, and Anthem Capital, of Baltimore.

Immunicon¿s platform technologies include magnetic ferrofluids (or magnetic nanoparticles), high-gradient magnetic separation systems, cell presentation devices and specialized instrumentation.

¿We have a broad platform, but we decided the first area of concentration for us would be cancer management,¿ he said. ¿That involves the development of diagnostic tools used for screening the disease to the diagnosis and the staging of cancer. It also involves the monitoring of cancer, and the reoccurrence of the disease.¿

The company, which was founded in the mid-1980s, already has a manual test protocol but wants to move to an instrument-based test. Any product is at best two to three years away, Erickson said.

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