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OpGen completes $17 million Series B financing
GAITHERSBURG, Md.óOpGen, Inc., a commercial phase genomics company, announced Sept. 27 the successful completion of a $17 million Series B equity financing. The new round of financing was led by jVen Capital with participation from the company's other major investors, including CHL Medical Partners, Highland Capital Partners, Mason Wells Biomedical and Versant Ventures.
In conjunction with this financing, Evan Jones, managing member of jVen Capital, will lead OpGen's board of directors as executive chairmanóJones was previously an OpGen board member and has also served as interim chief executive officer of the company.
This financing will support the marketing efforts for the company's Argus Optical Mapping System, with special emphasis on driving market awareness and growing revenues, says Douglas White, CEO of OpGen.
"In addition, the new growth capital will fuel our efforts to expand into new markets, including the development of new applications that will complement sequencing technologies and help facilitate rapid completion of large genome mapping and finishing technologies currently under development at the company," White explains. "This is a very exciting time for OpGen and these resources position us for continued success as we build our business and focus on growing our product revenues."
"I'm very pleased to continue my close involvement with OpGen as both an investor and board contributor," Jones says. "I had the good fortune to work with Doug White at Digene, another successful molecular diagnostic testing company, and I see similar strong market potential for OpGen's novel technologies. I have every confidence that this team has the right vision and expertise to realize the full potential of the Argus system in the marketplace."
The Argus Optical Mapping System, which was commercially launched in June 2010, is a powerful platform for automated, microbial whole genome analysis. The system utilizes Optical Mapping Technology to generate ordered, whole genome genetic maps from single DNA molecules. Unlike current methods, Optical Mapping is not a gel-, PCR- or sequencing-based approach. Rather, it is a unique technology for generating whole genome, high resolution genetic maps that reportedly can be used in strain typing, comparative genomics and whole genome sequence assembly.
"We are very enthusiastic about OpGen and are pleased to continue to support the company's goals, including its plans to enter large genome analysis as a natural extension of its current product portfolio," says Dr. Bijan Salehizadeh, general partner at Highland Capital. "Most immediately, we anticipate continued commercial penetration of the Argus Optical Mapping System within the life sciences and other applicable markets, and believe in OpGen's ability to maximize this breakthrough technology, which is capable of mapping a microorganism's entire genome in less than a day."