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VC Cash for Genomics Tools: Steady State


If we can ignore the sorry state of public companies for a moment, let’s talk about the more encouraging news about private companies’ fundraising records in 2002. A review by Genome Technology’s online sister publication found that pure-play genomic tool and technology companies reported raising about $102.7 million in private-equity cash since January, down only slightly from the $115 million that similar companies reported pocketing during the same eight-month period last year.

And if this year continues to mimic last, the best could be yet to come. In the last four months of 2001 genomic firms reported raising some $300 million. In fact, things might already be on the upswing.

According to VentureWire, a VC tracking firm, venture-capital interest in biotech companies, which includes genomic technology customers and a small number of vendors, actually increased 44 percent during the three months ending in June 2002.

Still, the tool and tech sector has some catching up to do. Following is a glimpse of the eight VC investments reported since January 2002 and the 24 rounds reported throughout 2001.

2002 Year-to-date

Dharmacon Research,
Aug. 27 — $5.7 million

Zyomyx, Series E,
July 30 — $27 million

HandyLab, Series B,
July 25 — $5.5 million

Hybrigenics, Series C,
April 12 — $14.8 million

Gyros, Series B,
April 11 — $36 million

Gentris, undisclosed round,
March 19 — $1.5 million

Beyond Genomics, undisclosed round,

Feb. 13 — $11 million

High Throughput Genomics, Series A,

Jan. 21 — $1.3 million

2001 — Total year

Syrrx, undisclosed round,
Dec. 26 — $18.5 million

MitoKor, undisclosed round,
Dec. 20 — $25 million

Avalon, Series B,
Dec. 17 — $70 million

ExonHit, Series C,
Dec. 3 — $26.8 million

Fluidigm, Series C,
Nov. 12 — $34 million

Glycominds, undisclosed round,
Nov. 7 — $7.1 million

Atto Bioscience, Series A,
Oct. 29 — $3 million

GeneFormatics, Series C,
Oct. 17 — $22 million

Protedyne, Series B,
Oct. 12 — $12 million

Galileo Genomics, undisclosed round,
Oct. 10 — $16.5 million

Sagres Discovery, undisclosed round,
Oct. 3 — $20 million

Solexa, Series B,
Sept. 24 — $12 million

EuroProteome, undisclosed round,
Sept. 17 — $8.7 million

Entelos, undisclosed round,
Sept. 6 — $25 million

LaunchCyte, undisclosed round,
Aug. 8 — $700,000

Viaken, Series B,
June 25 — $13 million

DNAPrint, undisclosed round,
June 18 — $2 million

AlgoNomics, Series B,
June 5 — $1.5 million

DeveloGen, undisclosed round,
April 18 — $35 million

LifeSpan Biosciences, Series C,
April 17 — $19 million

Nanostream, Series B,
March 30 — $10 million

LumiCyte, undisclosed round,
March 26 — $20 million

Proteologics, undisclosed round,
March 5 — $14 million


[Editor’s note: This list comprises only those private-equity rounds announced by genomic, proteomic, bioinformatic, and microarray companies that were reported by GenomeWeb. This list does not include government grants, equity investments tied to R&D collaborations, private stock placements, or any other form of cash infusion not related to venture capital.]


Kirell Lakhman is editor of


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