Funds to be used to Accelerate Market Entry of Mass Spectrometry Sample Preparation Products
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee, March 25, 2008 — Protein Discovery, Inc., a developer and marketer of innovative products that simplify biological sample preparation for mass spectrometry applications, today announced that the company has closed an oversubscribed $10 million Series C round of equity financing. The investment was led by Santé Ventures and was joined by previous investors, including Memphis Biomed Ventures, the Southern Appalachian Fund, and the Nashville Capital Network. Protein Discovery will use the funds to boost market entry activities of its flagship product, the Passport™ 1200 Sample Prep System, which was launched last week at the annual U.S. Human Proteome Organization (HuPO) meeting in Bethesda, Maryland.
“Protein Discovery has developed a unique product that significantly improves the otherwise cumbersome process required to prepare biological samples for mass spectrometry analysis in common life science R&D applications such as protein biomarker discovery and small molecule quantification,” said Kevin Lalande, managing director of Santé Ventures.” “By simplifying multiple sample preparation steps into a single-step, parallel format disposable cartridge, the product allows customers to generate more reliable data faster, easier, and at a lower cost. The technology addresses a key pain point, which combined with a quality management team, makes Protein Discovery a promising investment for us.” Mr. Lalande will join Protein Discovery’s Board of Directors.
The recent round of financing follows numerous significant company milestones for its second product to market, the Passport™ 1200 Sample Prep System. The Passport is a proprietary new product used to prepare clinically-relevant biological samples for analysis using mass spectrometry. From a tiny sample of blood or tissue, the system is capable of rapidly and reproducibly enriching target molecules for highly sensitive analysis using either MALDI or electrospray mass spectrometry. Up to 96 samples can be simultaneously prepared for analysis in less than an hour, compared to days required using existing techniques. As of the date of funding, the system was in use at six leading mass spectrometry centers throughout the world.
Following external user testing, production manufacturing of the system was initiated in the forth quarter of 2007. The system was presented in two invited oral presentations earlier in the month at the Pittsburgh Conference by the company’s Director of Mass Spectrometry. The first peer-reviewed journal publication outlining the scientific foundation for the technology was published in the leading journal Analytical Chemistry in March.
“The continued interest and support we have received from the investment community reflects the enabling nature of our technology and our ability to deliver a product that dramatically improves the data quality, throughput and ease of use for our customers,” said Chuck Witkowski, president and chief executive officer of Protein Discovery. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Santé to accelerate commercialization of our enabling products.”
About Protein Discovery
Protein Discovery is a privately held life science company that provides products that simplify and accelerate the preparation of complex biological samples for analysis by mass spectrometry. For additional information, please visit www.proteindiscovery.com
About Santé Ventures
Santé Ventures is a specialized venture capital firm founded in 2006 by a group of partners with deep healthcare investment and operations experience. In addition to capital, the firm provides its portfolio executives with additional healthcare domain expertise, an extensive network of relationships and singular industry focus. Santé invests exclusively in early-stage companies developing innovative new medical technologies and healthcare services. For more information, please visit www.santeventures.com