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WaferGen Closes $5.1M Financing to Commercialize SmartChip, Predicts $6.3M in 2010 Revenues

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By Bernadette Toner

A WaferGen Biosystems official said this week that the company has raised gross proceeds of around $5.1 million in a private placement that it will use to further develop and commercialize its SmartChip real-time PCR system.

Alnoor Shivji, WaferGen's chairman, president, and CEO, disclosed the financing during a presentation at the OneMedPlace Finance Forum in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday.

During the presentation, which was webcast, Shivji predicted that SmartChip sales would help the company generate revenue of $6.3 million in 2010, and estimated that the company would be able to "double the number of chip sales annually."

WaferGen brought in revenues of $621,866 in 2008 and $228,973 in 2007.

WaferGen is currently offering gene expression-profiling services based on the SmartChip platform prior to the commercial rollout of the system, which will be in the second half of the year [PCR Insider 1-7-2010].

Shivji said during the OneMedPlace presentation that the company expects to run between 2,000 and 4,000 chips this year "with about 15 platforms that we want to get out there."

The platform is being developed to conduct 33,750 assays on a single chip. The current version of the system includes 5,184 nanowells and Shivji said this week that the company expects to launch the 30K system next year.

Shivji said that the $5.1 million financing will help the company "strengthen our collaborations, accelerate ongoing product development, and speed … commercialization" of the SmartChip system.

The company sold around 3.4 million units in the placement at a price of $1.50 per unit, with each unit consisting of one share of the company's common stock and a warrant to purchase 25 percent of one share of common stock at an exercise price of $2.50 per whole share.

Gilford Securities and Spencer Trask served as placement agents for the offering.

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