Money will be used to expand commercial reach of targeted sequencing and sequence-enrichment solutions.

RainDance Technologies, which provides microdroplet-based solutions for single-molecule and single-cell analysis, has closed a Series D financing round of $37.5 million. RainDance plans to use the money to drive new applications for its commercial targeted sequencing and sequence-enrichment solutions.

The firm aims to grow its global sales and support infrastructure. It will also leverage the funding to develop and commercialize new products for single-molecule digital PCR and single-cell analysis.

RainDance’s microdroplet-based RainStorm™ technology enables researchers to perform fully automated biological analyses. Each RainStorm picoliter-scale droplet is the functional equivalent of an individual test tube and can contain a single molecule, cell, or reaction. The company says that its commercial products integrate with all next-generation DNA-sequencing platforms.

In February 2010, RainDance inked deals with Pacific Biosciences and Life Technologies that couple its technology with their respective sequencing platforms. Also in February the Academy for Medical Development and Collaboration said that it would provide access to RainDance’s RDT 1000 sequence-enrichment platform to the Tri-Institutional Research Program, which includes 28 biomedical research institutes in New York. A month later Ambry Genetics, a CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited diagnostic and genomic services company, signed on to use RainDance’s RDT 1000 for sequence enrichment and resequencing validation.

The RDT 1000 incorporates RainStorm microdroplet-based technology to amplify hundreds to thousands of genomic loci with high specificity and uniformity, RainDance states. It improves sample uniformity for less oversampling and efficient utilization of sequencer capacity, the firm adds. The RDT 1000 also reduces selection bias for decreased complexity and greater integrity of results, according to the company.

“We believe RainDance’s microdroplet-based solutions will play an important role in high-growth research and diagnostic markets due to its single-molecule and single-cell analytical sensitivity, unprecedented number of data points per sample, fast time-to-result, and flexibility with multiple biological sample types including DNA or RNA, proteins, and cells,” remarks Sherrill Neff from Quaker BioVentures, a new investor that co-led the Series D round. Neff joins RainDance’s board of directors.

RainDance’s commercial portfolio also includes automated instrumentation, customizable bioinformatics, consumables, and reagents for targeted sequencing, methylation, single-molecule digital PCR, and single-cell analysis.

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