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Capital Business
Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 03/07/2012

Gaithersburg-based OpGen secures up to $17M from investors

Gaithersburg-based OpGen has closed on a third round of venture capital that could add as much as $17 million to the company’s coffers if it meets certain milestones, an executive said.

Chief Executive Douglas White declined to specify how much money the company has collected immediately, but said he anticipates the firm will eventually use the entire amount.

“This financing is going to be able to drive the business and allow us to increase our market presence, which is what we need to access those customers we don’t currently have and build up the customer base we do,” White said.

OpGen has benefited from advancements in genomic science that make mapping an organism’s DNA easier and more affordable. The company has developed a technology to map the genetic makeup of simple organisms, such as plants.

The company recently debuted a method to map more complex genomes, such as those belonging to people. The technology aims to put separate gene sequences in the correct order so that abnormalities in the structure of one’s genetic makeup can be better detected.

White said the technology could prove useful to a wide range of potential customers, including university researchers and public health scientists. The latest round of funding will help to target those groups and should carry the company to profitability, he said.

“If we identify some interesting content or applications in a clinical market, there may be an opportunity to go out and raise more money,” White said. “But the plan is to take this Series C and it should take us to cash flow positive.”

Harris & Harris Group and Cross Creek Capital participated in the financing as new investors. Previous investors Highland Capital Partners, Versant Ventures, jVen Capital and CHL Medical Partners also contributed to the round.

By  |  07:00 AM ET, 03/07/2012

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