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Food Safety Dx Firm Sample6 Raises $11M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Food safety diagnostic test firm Sample6 today announced it has secured $11 million in a Series B financing round.

The funds will go toward commercialization of the Boston-based company's first products, Sample6 Detect/L, an assay for identifying Listeria contamination; and Sample6 Control, a software platform for planning, executing, remediating, and analyzing food safety programs.

The company said that current technology can take several days to identify and remediate bacterial contamination. Its synthetic biology-based technology, in contrast, enables enrichment-free detection and subsequent remediation of pathogens in less than eight hours. Additionally, the test can detect bacteria levels as low as one colony forming unit in one millimeter of liquid in a few hours.

Its Bioillumination Platform, Sample6 said, allows for detection through engineered bioparticles, or biosensors, that target illuminate-containing bacteria

The assay and software are expected to launch in the first half of 2014, Sample6 said.

Canaan Partners led the financing round and was joined by Cultivian Sandbox and Series A lead investor Flybridge Capital Partners.

Stephen Block, general manager of Canaan Partners, has joined Sample6's board, while Peter Farina, executive in residence at the venture capital firm, joins Sample6's scientific advisory board.

"We are poised to bring to market our diagnostic and data analytics solutions that have the power to radically change, at first, the food industry’s safety processes — taking a detection and remediation process that takes days down to one that takes hours," Sample6 CEO Tim Curran said in a statement. "Backing from Canaan and Cultivian will allow us to bring our revolutionary products to the US food market and also explore other markets where bacterial contamination is an issue, such as hospitals and clinics."