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Gen-Probe Spinout Roka Bioscience Raises $20M

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Roka Bioscience, spun out of Gen-Probe in 2009, today announced that it completed a Series C financing round that raised $20 million.

That brings the total amount it has raised in financing since its founding to $57.2 million.

Roka did not say how the funds will be used, but Paul Thomas, its president and CEO, said in a statement that the company is on track to commercialize its first molecular assay for food safety testing later this year. Roka's nucleic acid tests will be based on technologies and platforms licensed from Gen-Probe.

The company has offices in Warren, NJ, and San Diego. It was formed in September 2009 when Gen-Probe spun out its industrial assets into a separate company to develop molecular assays for biopharmaceutical production, water and food safety testing, and other applications. At the time, Gen-Probe said it would have a 19.9 percent stake in Roka. The company originally was manned by 18 employees who moved from Gen-Probe and has grown to 75 employees today, it said.

Participants in the Series C round included existing investors OrbiMed Advisors, New Enterprise Associates, TPG Biotech, and Gen-Probe.

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