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GeneFormatics Closes $22M in Series C Financing Round

NEW YORK, Oct. 17 - GeneFormatics has raised $22 million in its third round of financing, the structural proteomics company announced on Wednesday.

Investors supporting the round comprised Bruker AXS, Bruker BioSpin, Bruker Daltonics, TaKaRa Shuzo, and China Development Industrial Bank. They joined earlier investors Perseus-Soros BioPharmaceutical Fund, Merrill Lynch Ventures, Orbimed Advisors, Burrill & Co., GeneChem, Inglewood Ventures, and Moss Forest Venture, GeneFormatics said.

A Series B round worth $15 million was closed in October 2000.

The company will use the new capital to go toward developing its 'function first' approach to identifying and prioritizing protein targets “against which pharmaceutical, agricultural, or industrial products can be developed,” John Chiplin, CEO of GeneFormatics, said in a statement.

“’Function first' enables us to rapidly identify protein structure and function information that cannot be determined by other methods, and also provides a platform to generate a unique and valuable intellectual property estate that includes thousands of druggable targets,” Chiplin added.

Earlier this month, GeneFormatics, based in San Diego, and Bruker BioSpin, Bruker AXS, and Bruker Daltonics have formed a series of strategic partnerships .

Terms of the deal call for GeneFormatics to work on nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy with Bruker BioSpin, on X-ray single crystal diffraction with Bruker AXS, and on Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight mass spectrometry with Bruker Daltonics. In exchange, the Bruker companies promised to contribute to GeneFormatics’ next round of private financing--the $22 million announced on Wednesday. GeneFormatics also said it would make an equity investment in Bruker AXS and Bruker Daltonics.

One day after announcing those partnerships, GeneFormatics said it expects to unveil a number of deals towards the end of the month designed to further enhance its technological capabilities as it looks for ways to improve the drug-discovery process.

"The deal with the Bruker companies is one piece of a jigsaw puzzle that will help us to put our NMR efforts on steroids," John Chiplin, CEO of GeneFormatics, told GenomeWeb on Oct. 4. "GeneFormatics is trying to provide a high-throughput approach to NMR."

"There will be more announcements toward the end of this month," he said.

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