Microchip Biotechnologies (MBI) has pocketed $18.1 million in a Series B financing. The capital will fund the commercialization of the Apollo 100 System, a sample-preparation technology for Sanger DNA cycle sequencing. The company will also use a portion of the money to further develop the Apollo platform for the next-generation sequencing market and emerging markets in DNA-based human identification and forensics.
The Apollo technology integrates advanced fluidics and analytical capabilities to produce sample-to-answer performance for DNA and RNA sequencing, DNA-based forensics and human identity testing, biodefense, as well as molecular diagnostics, MBI explains. Apollo 100 System is the company’s first product.
It reportedly reduces the sample-prep bottleneck within Sanger cycle sequencing. The system uses the company’s MOVe™ pump technology to integrate sequencing reaction setup and cleanup while automating the process on a small-footprint liquid-handling robot. The efficiency of the Apollo 100 process thus decreases the use of expensive sequencing reagents, according to MBI.
“The MBI team has tremendous depth in systems integration. This expertise, combined with MBI's MOVe technology, will allow life science products to be integrated in ways never before possible, bringing enabling new solutions to exciting growth markets," points out Jim Blair, Ph.D., partner at Domain Associates, which led the financing along with Samsung Ventures and Western Technology Investment. New individual investors joined this round, and previous investors Rona Syndicates and In-Q-Tel also participated.