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Hewlett-Packard Among Investors in Genotyping Startup, HandyLab

NEW YORK, July 25 - Startup genotyping maker HandyLab has completed a $5.5 million Series B private-equity round, the company said on its web site.

Investors included Ardesta, EDF Ventures, Wolverine Venture Fund, and XR Ventures, which together invested $2.5 million in HandyLab's Series A round. Two new investors included Hewlett-Packard and SBV Venture partners.


HandyLab technology is a portable microfluidic-based genotyping tool that detects infectious diseases. The technology is currently entering pre-clinical trials, the company said. The new cash infusion will help HandyLab develop chips to detect pathogens with potential bioterror applications said Michael Farmer, HandyLab's president and CEO.

"Our solution is a small handheld device, and no one is close to what we do," Farmer said.


HP, meantime, plans to take more than a traditional stake in the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company.  The computer giant intends to create a special-purpose PDA that will drive and control HandyLab's diagnostic cartridge. This "should make [the technology] faster than anyone's," said Farmer.


HandyLab employs 19 full-time and 10 part-time people and plans to expand its staff by about 12 people before the end of the year. The company said it plans to open offices in Buffalo, NY, and in Berkeley, Calif.

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