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IntegenX Nets $40M Financing to Accelerate Commercialization of DNA ID Platform

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IntegenX said today that it has secured $40 million in Series C financing to accelerate development of its product pipeline and commercialization of its RapidHit 200 Human Identification System in the US and international markets.

New investor Essex Woodlands led the financing round and joins existing investors Domain Associates, QuestMark Partners, Greenspring Associates, Cross Creek Capital, RONAholdings, Samsung Ventures, and strategic partner In-Q-Tel.

As part of the financing, Ronald Eastman of Essex Woodlands and Ben Schapiro of QuestMark Partners will join IntegenX's board of directors.

The cash influx will primarily help accelerate commercialization of the RapidHit 200, a fully automated, closed, sample-to-profile DNA analysis system for use in field-based applications in forensics, defense, homeland security, and other markets.

The system can produce DNA profiles from buccal swabs or other human samples in less than 90 minutes, and will enable DNA analysis at the point of collection, such as an arrest or detention, the company said.

It achieves this through its core microscale on-chip valves, or MOVe, technology, which can simultaneously process up to eight samples, including controls, with short tandem repeat analysis; and integrates cell lysis, DNA extraction, PCR amplification, capillary electrophoresis-based separation, and laser-induced fluorescence detection.

By contrast, human DNA samples currently must be transported or shipped to central laboratories with highly trained technicians using multiple instruments for analyses that take anywhere from 10 to 14 hours, with access to results delayed up to 30 days or more, IntegenX said.

IntegenX will also use the financing to expand its product pipeline. However, the company declined to provide specifics about its new product-development efforts at this time.

Based in Pleasanton, Calif., IntegenX also currently markets the Apollo 324, an automated platform for next-generation sequencing DNA and RNA library preparation; and GenTegra and GenPlate products for stabilizing DNA, RNA, whole blood, and biological fluids for dry-state, room-temperature storage without degradation.

The RapidHit 200 platform was previously known as the Apollo 200, and then the Apollo 200 RapidHit. In June, IntegenX announced an early-access program for the RapidHit 200, and named UK-based Key Forensics Services as the first partner under the program (PCR Insider, 6/23/2011).

At the time, the company said that it expected to commercialize the RapidHit 200 in early 2012. With the new financing in hand, IntegenX this week reiterated that timeline, adding that the platform is expected to be commercialized in the US and abroad within the first half of next year.

In August, IntegenX and Promega announced that the RapidHit 200 would incorporate Promega's nucleic acid purification and STR amplification reagents under a reagent supply agreement (PCR Insider, 8/4/11).

Other companies developing rapid, portable, sample-to-answer DNA identification systems include ZyGem, NEC, and NetBio. Of these, ZyGem's RapI.D. product, which the company is developing in partnership with Lockheed Martin, is closest to commercialization (PCR Insider, 5/5/2011). The company has not provided a specific commercialization timeline; however, this week a ZyGem spokesperson said that RapI.D. is currently in the "pre-production, integration, and validation stage;" and is expected to be fully commercialized by the end of 2012.

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