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CTC Technology Firm Clearbridge Raises $7.2M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Singapore cancer diagnostics firm Clearbridge BioMedics announced on Wednesday the closing of a Series B financing round, bringing in S$9.0 million (US$7.2 million).

The financing will be used to further develop Clearbridge's ClearCell System, a non-biomarker-based platform for detecting, isolating, and retrieving circulating tumor cells from blood. The system consists of the ClearCell unit and single-use microfluidic biochips called CTChips.

The platform was launched in 2011 for the cancer research market, and Clearbridge intends to build out the technology for further applications, which will involve developing a next-generation system for improved accuracy, sensitivity, and reliability, according to Johnson Chen, managing director and co-founder of Clearbridge.

"It is a very exciting time for us and we plan to embark upon validation trials later this year to show the applicability of the ClearCell System in a clinical setting," he said in a statement.

The Series B round was led by Vertex Venture Holdings, the wholly owned venture capital arm of Temasek Holdings. Also participating were Spring Seeds Capital, Clearbridge BSA and Lu Yoh Chie, and existing shareholder BioVeda.

Clearbridge added that Chua Joo Hock, managing director and chief investment officer of Vertex is joining the board of the company, as is Lu, the founder of Biosensors International, who is being appointed chairman.

Clearbridge was spun out of the National University of Singapore in 2009 and is ISO13485 certified for developing cell-based in vitro diagnostic devices.