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MDx Firm Curetis Closes $18M Series B Extension

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — German molecular diagnostics firm Curetis said today that it has closed a €14.5 million ($18 million) extension of its Series B financing round originally led by HBM partners in April 2013.

New investors Qiagen and LSP Health Economics Fund (LSP-HEF) participated in the round with a commitment of €7 million, joining several existing investors that together committed €7.5 million. The existing investors included Aeris Capital, BioMed Invest, CD Venture, Forbion Capital, HBM Partners, Life Science Partners, Roche Venture Fund, Curetis management, a trustee pool of Curetis employees, and private angel investors.

As part of the financing, Rudy Dekeyser of LSP-HEF will join Curetis' supervisory board, while Martin Potgeter, vice president of business development at Qiagen, will take an observer seat on the board.

The financing is supported by the achievement of key milestones such as several CE-IVD marked products, an ongoing US Food and Drug Administration clearance trial, and a growing commercial distribution network across Europe, Curetis said.

Holzgerlingen-based Curetis markets the CE-marked Unyvero Analyzer, an automated benchtop nucleic acid testing platform that combines a proprietary universal sample prep method with endpoint PCR and array-based detection. The system is designed to detect a broad panel of bacteria, fungi, and antibiotic resistances from a single sample in one run.

The company also markets two CE-marked test cartridges, the Unyvero P50 cartridge for pneumonia testing, which simultaneously analyzes 39 DNA targets, and the Unyvero i60 ITI cartridge for implant and tissue infections. Its ongoing US clinical trial is for the Unyvero LRT assay, a modified version of the P50 cartridge.

The latest financing brings the total amount of equity raised by Curetis to more than €63.5 million.

"We are excited to see two new investors joining and further strengthening our syndicate of top-tier private equity funds," Curetis CEO Oliver Schacht said in a statement. "With the current cash on hand, we are now financed well into 2017. The funds will be used to continue our commercial roll-out in Europe, the FDA trial, and to prepare our company for attractive future exit opportunities such as strategic partnerships, M&A, or an IPO."