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UPDATE: Xenon Genetics Raises Additional $2.6M in Second Round Financing

This article has been updated from a previous version .

NEW YORK, May 4 - Canadian population genetics company Xenon Genetics completed its second round of financing, worth $2.6 million, adding to $45 million raised in early April, the company said Friday. 

The additional financing "is going to allow us to continue to expand more quickly," said company spokeswoman Ann David. 

The Vancouver, B.C., company plans to use the $47.6 million raised this spring to advance its gene and drug discovery program, to expand its clinical databases and population sample collections, and to further develop its database capabilities, according to David. The company also plans to expand its office and lab facilities in Vancouver as well as Montreal. 

Additionally, with this pot of cash in a down market, the company plans to possibly acquire or invest in other companies with complementary technologies, David said.

Xenon distinguishes itself from competitors by employing a clinically-based strategy for identifying genes and druggable targets associated with patients' diseases. This strategy, which the company calls "clinical genomics," involves identifying and studying a population with a particular disease in order to identify a disease-associated gene, then further determining the gene's function using animal models.  

This strategy has been seen as more focused on specific disease populations than those of DeCode Genetics and Gemini Genomics, which involve studying large isolated populations and mining these general populations for disease-associated genes.   

Currently, Xenon has an $87 million agreement with Warner-Lambert to identify drug targets and lead compounds that can be used for the treatment of low HDL cholesterol.  

For this round of financing, JPMorgan H&Q served as the placement agent, and lead investors included Fidelity Management & Research and Invesco Private Capital. JPMorgan Partners, Novo A/S, Pfizer, InterWest Partners, Royal Bank Capital Partners, GrowthWorks Capital, and Ventures West Management also invested in this round.  

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