By Frances Bishopp

Nanogen Inc. has raised $26.2 million through a private round of financing on its series C preferred stock, funds which are designated to take Nanogen's technology from the research to the development phase.

Nanogen, founded three years ago, is a privately held company that focuses on the development of a broad-based diagnostic platform combining molecular genetics, microelectronics, lasers and nanotechnology.

Centered around its proprietary Automated Programmable Electronic Matrix (APEX) microchip array technology, Nanogen, of San Diego, develops products directed toward infectious disease diagnosis, genetic screening, molecular oncology, blood typing/screening and biological research, as well as other applications.

"We can concentrate and detect DNA molecules in a patient sample faster than conventional technology by taking advantage of the electronics of the chip," Tina Nova, president and chief operating officer of Nanogen, explained. "We can not only do it faster, we can also assay for more than one disease at one time in one sample because we have different DNA probes on the array of the chip."

Participating investors represent a range of interests from the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan. Cowen & Co., of San Francisco, acted as exclusive placement agent.

"There was a lot of interest in this financing," Nova said. "We expected to raise about $15 million, the response exceeded our expectations."

Nanogen, which has raised to date $39 million in venture capital funding, is seeking partnering opportunities, Nova said. "There is no current defined date that the company will go public, "but it is in future plans." *