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Arcxis Receives Investment from IQT for Sample Prep, Molecular Dx Development

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Arcxis Biotechnologies said today that it has received an additional investment from In-Q-Tel to help it commercialize its nucleic acid sample-preparation and molecular diagnostics platforms.

As part of the investment, the amount of which was undisclosed, Arcxis has agreed to expand its ongoing collaboration with In-Q-Tel, also known as IQT, an independent strategic investment firm that identifies technologies to support the US intelligence community.

The investment is linked to a previously undisclosed financing round led by Claremont Creek Ventures and Kaiser Permanente Ventures in November 2009 to supports Arcxis' development and commercialization efforts.

That financing continued a Series B financing round that commenced in January 2009, also with funding from Claremont Creek and Kaiser Permanente, Arcxis CEO Chris Meda told PCR Insider today.

Arcxis, based in Pleasanton, Calif., inked its original partnership with IQT in March 2009. Under the expanded collaboration, it will continue to work with IQT to commercialize Arcxis' fully automated RNA and DNA sample-preparation device, called Xisyl.

The system, currently in prototype phase, is being designed to eliminate time-consuming steps in manual sample preparation, and to provide users with a greater volume of purified starting material for demanding analyses such as organism detection, genotyping, gene expression, and PCR, Arcxis said.

The device is designed for efficient nucleic acid extraction and purification from blood and plasma, but it is also ideal for preparation of environmental samples, the company said. Arcxis has developed a complementary probe technology called Tentacle Probes to create highly sensitive and specific assays.

"This is exciting for us, because we're in the final phases of development for Xisyl," Meda said. "After talking with customers, we're confident that this is a sample-preparation system that will help move molecular diagnostics into places like community hospitals, where quick answers are needed."

Arcxis said that it anticipates launching Xisyl to the clinical diagnostics marketplace later this year.

The company launched its first product, the ArcPure sample preparation kits, in October. They are currently available for sale on Arcxis' website. The company is also developing the BioPhalanx analysis workstation, a fully automated sample-to-result system to improve workflows in the clinical laboratory and other environments.

"Arcxis continues to deliver impressive technology capabilities," William Strecker, executive vice president of architecture and engineering at IQT, said in a statement. "Arcxis' nucleic acid sample preparation and molecular diagnostic product platforms will be an invaluable technology solution to the public and private sectors."

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