Life-science briefing: Wednesday, April 2, 2008

TODAY’S HEADLINES:

ProGenTech takes in $21M for DNA purification systems – ProGenTech, an “East-West” tool and equipment maker, raised $21 million in a third funding round. Investors included Bay City Capital of San Francisco and DT Capital of Shanghai.

ProGenTech makes purification systems that isolate DNA from blood or other biological samples for processing and analysis. The startup is based in Shanghai and Emeryville, Calif.

phenomix-logo-150px.jpgDiabetes-drug maker Phenomix raises $18M while seeking IPO – Phenomix, a San Diego biotech developing new diabetes drugs, raised a total of $73.3 million in its third funding round, according to a recent amendment to its IPO filing. VentureWire reports that the startup had raised $55 million as of March 2007, suggesting the company pulled in an additional $18.3 million since then.

Phenomix claims to be a “fast follower” in drug development, a company that aims to create better versions of drugs that take aim at biological mechanisms already proven to work by earlier drugs. Its leading drug candidate is an inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidase-4, or DPP-4, an enzyme that plays a role in insulin production, for use in type 2 diabetes. The company is looking to raise $86.3 million in its IPO.

biotrove-logo-150px.gifGenome-tool maker BioTrove gets $23M in preparation for IPO – BioTrove, a Woburn, Mass., biomedical equipment maker, raised $22.7 million in a third funding round just prior to filing for an IPO, according to its SEC registration statement. The funding was first reported by VentureWire.

The company makes tools and systems for DNA analysis and drug screening. It filed yesterday to raise $75 million in its initial offering. BioTrove’s backers in the latest fundraising included Catalyst Health and Technology Partners, CB Health Ventures, Vox Equity Partners, and Fletcher Spaght Ventures.