Atlanta-based Stheno raised $750,000 in a Small Business Innovation Research grant and $300,000 in additional seed funding, VentureWire is reporting (subscription required).

Founded in 2003, Stheno is developing methods for detecting “chiral molecules” — also known as enantiomers — in solution. Chirality refers to the chemical “left-handed” and “right-handed” forms of a particular molecule, which can have very different biological properties when used as drugs. Stheno’s detector is designed to identify solution samples that are “contaminated” with molecules of the wrong handedness.

From VentureWire:

Existing seed investors Healthcare Capital Partners, New England Partners, Georgia Venture Partners and the Advanced Technology Development Center of the Georgia Institute of Technology provided the financing, said Stheno President William Edens.

[…]

The funding will help get the company ready for its full launch in the fourth quarter, Edens said. The company will look to add a larger venture investor for a roughly $2 million Series A in the summer, he said.

With this financing, Stheno has now raised $2 million in seed money and almost $1 million in SBIR grants. The company has five employees.

The company, however, hasn’t made a priority of keeping outsiders informed of its progress, as the “news” section of its Web site hasn’t been updated since July 2004.