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29 May, 2012 - 09:05 By Tony Quested

Sphere Fluidics seeks $8m Series A venture cash

CEO Frank Craig

Sphere Fluidics, the Cambridge UK bio company that has developed unique technology for use in single cell analysis, is seeking to raise $8 million Series A Venture Capital Investment to underpin rapid growth.

CEO Frank Craig will be showcasing Sphere Fluidics’ technology at the upcoming BIO 2012 Conference in Boston.

He said: “Sphere Fluidics is entering a new phase of growth. I am looking forward to exhibiting at BIO 2012 and attending various bio-partnering meetings. We have an exciting technology platform and I am confident we can help companies by e.g. finding new pharmaceuticals active against cancer.

Sphere Fluidics has developed a new technology platform, called Cyto-Mine™. It uses picodroplets (small volumes in the picolitre volume range) to compartmentalise single cells collected from a patient, a biopsy, a model cancer cell line population or cell library of interest.

Hundreds of thousands to millions of single cells are then grown in the picodroplets and their functional and molecular profiles are then characterised.

By using such a comprehensive approach, the company says it can identify rare clones that are high expressors of useful secreted molecules or monitor the effect of experimental biotherapeutic treatment on the phenotype and genotype of single cells in a cancer cell library.

The core technology and current products have been developed with around $13m of research grants and other funds and are protected by 30 international patents (15 of which are granted).     

Cyto-Mine™ can process up to one million individual tests in the volume of a single water drop and enable faster assays with a 500-fold reduction in reagent costs and significant savings in time.

Craig said: “The company has established its short-term goals of obtaining early-stage financing and forming several R & D Partnerships with leading international firms.

“The firm is also selling select consumable products using the worldwide sales and distribution channels of the Dolomite Centre. We now aim to provide discovery services to pharmaceutical companies where we use our technology base to provide a range of flexible programs, such as isolating rare clones of interest or profiling the effectiveness of new biopharmaceuticals on single cells.”

Sphere Fluidics’ directors are world leaders in the development of cell-based technologies and systems and have a track record in creating and building successful biotechnology businesses.

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