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Xagenic’s financing round to test platform and first diagnostic assay, continue product development and begin FDA submission

Xagenic logo CroppedToronto, ON (December 2, 2013) MaRS Innovation’s first start-up company, Xagenic Inc., is developing the first lab-free molecular diagnostic platform with a 20-minute time-to-result based on University of Toronto research by Professors Shana Kelley and Edward Sargent.

Today, Xagenic announced it has successfully closed a Series B financing round totaling $20 million. New investor Domain Associates, LLC, led the round, joined by existing investors who include CTI Life Sciences Fund and the Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund.

Media coverage includes GenomeWeb, DowJones’ Private Equity and Venture Capital, AltAssets, Biotechnology Focus, BetaKit, Global Corporate Venturing and Fierce Diagnostics.

Xagenic’s revolutionary AuRA™ (Amplified Redox Assay) technology uses patent-protected nanostructured microelectrodes to permit rapid, enzyme-free, direct detection of nucleic acids from clinical specimens without the need for sample extraction. The entire workflow is automated on a disposable cartridge that runs on a small, easy-to-use system that enables on-demand, near patient molecular testing, empowering clinicians to make treatment decisions for their patients at the time of first consultation.

Dr. Raphael Hofstein
Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president & CEO, MaRS Innovation.

“Xagenic created MaRS Innovation’s model for how we turn exciting, discovery-stage research into a meaningful approach to improved healthcare,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation.

Hofstein served as Xagenic’s first chairman and CEO from 2010 to 2012. Other MaRS Innovation staff filled key positions during the company’s earliest days, wrote its business development plan and assisted in building a team to design Xagenic’s operational AURA prototype.

“Xagenic’s success reflects the merits of investing locally to retain highly-skilled jobs,” said Hofstein. “Xagenic now employs 25 people, but if MaRS Innovation and others in Canada had not been here to support it, those jobs would almost certainly be located elsewhere.

MaRS Innovation provided intellectual property protection and other key strategic investments in Xagenic’s technology during its pre-seed stage, and led a seed-stage financing round that raised $2.2 million. Other seed-stage investors included the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (MaRS IAF), and the Health Technologies Exchange (HTX).

That seed investment paved the road to Xagenic’s $10 million Series A round in January 2012 and the current $20 million Series B round, the proceeds from which will support ongoing development and clinical studies as Xagenic executes its plan to achieve regulatory approval and commercialize its molecular diagnostic testing platform and lead diagnostic assay.

Xagenic was named Company of the Year at MaRS Innovation’s annual general meeting in September 2013. Read Xagenic’s Series B announcement on CNW newswire.

About MaRS Innovation
MaRS Innovation logoMaRS Innovation is the commercialization agent for Ontario’s exceptional discovery pipeline from 16 leading academic institutions of $1 billion in annual research and development. Supported by the Government of Canada through the Networks of Centres of Excellence, by the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and by its 16 member institutions, MI is a transformational partnership that turns research strengths into commercial opportunities. MI’s portfolio includes the most promising assets from its members’ pipeline, which it advances into global markets through industry partnerships, licensing and company creation.

By Elizabeth Monier-Williams, marketing and communications manager.

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