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LBNL Spinout PhyloTech Raises $1.2M in Seed Financing

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By Justin Petrone

PhyloTech, a year-old spinout of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, this week said it recently closed a $1.2 million seed financing round.

Individual investors led the seed financing round with Seraph Group and Wavepoint Ventures joining a second closing. The firm said the funds will allow it to begin taking orders for its array-based food- and environment-testing service.

According to PhyloTech, the array, called the PhyloChip, can be used to inform decisions in human health, environmental damages assessment, bioremediation, recreational water and drinking water testing, food safety testing, and other applications. The Affymetrix-manufactured chip contains 1.1 million probes representing over 50,000 bacteria and archaea, the company said.

PhyloTech's technology was invented in Gary Andersen's lab at LBNL. BioArray News spoke with Andersen about the development of the chip in 2005 (BAN 10/5/2005). He now heads the firm's scientific advisory board.

The company is led by former Affymetrix personnel. Thane Kreiner has been named CEO and president of PhyloChip. He joins the firm from Presage Biosciences. Before that he was a senior executive at Affymetrix, where he held several roles including senior vice president of marketing and sales, corporate affairs, and business operations. Janet Warrington, formerly vice president of molecular diagnostics R&D at Affy, is now PhyloTech's senior vice president of operations and development.

The firm's management is rounded out by Todd DeSantis, who is co-founder and head of bioinformatics; board member Peter Gardner, who is managing director of Wavepoint Ventures; board member Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, Calif.; Chairman Corey Goodman, who was formerly president of Pfizer's Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center; board member and strategic advisor John Kao; and board member Matt Winkler, who is the current CEO of Asuragen.

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