N. BILLERICA, Mass., Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Seahorse Bioscience, Inc. today announced it has closed a $5MM financing whose proceeds will be used to fund expansion of domestic and international sales and marketing activities and to increase manufacturing capacity of Seahorse's popular XF series of instruments, the new standard for measuring cell metabolism.
Investors in the Series D round included Commonwealth Capital Ventures, FLIR Systems Inc, Rock Maple Ventures, Life Sciences Partners, Oxford Bioscience Partners, Healthcare Ventures, New Science Ventures and HLM Venture Partners.
"While sales by most life science businesses declined in 2009, the demand for Seahorse's technology led to the third consecutive year of impressive sales," observed Jeff Hurst of Commonwealth Capital Ventures. "With the impact they are having in the cancer market it was an easy decision for us to increase our investment to allow them to accelerate their geographic growth and accelerate market adoption."
Introduced in 2006, Seahorse XF Analyzers are the first instrument to measure the two energy pathways of the cell in a microplate, enabling scientists to generate a comprehensive picture of cellular bioenergetics in real-time. Cellular bioenergetics -- the processes by which cells produce and consume energy -- is fundamental to the growth, development, function and metabolism of cells. It has emerged as the hot new area of focus in the research of cancer; aging; and metabolic, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Cancer research offers significant growth opportunity for Seahorse. The XF Analyzer is playing a key role in the resurgence of interest in the Warburg effect, an 80-year-old discovery about the way cancer cells prefer to burn sugar over fat. Blocking sugar metabolism can cause cancer cells to die, a phenomenon that is fueling a new wave of research into how cancers proliferate and ways to stop them.
In response to the impact Seahorse is having on cancer research, organizers of the upcoming Keystone Symposia on Cancer Cell Metabolism have invited Seahorse's Dr. Min Wu to speak about new findings of cancer metabolism using the XF Analyzer. This distinguished meeting brings the leaders in the field together to share their insights.
Life Science researchers have embraced Seahorse instruments. The Scientist magazine recently named the XF96 Analyzer one of their 2009 Top Ten Innovations and among the most exciting tools to impact the life sciences. The instrument has already been cited in five scientific publications in 2010 after appearing in twenty in 2009.
"This investment is a milestone for Seahorse. It is enabling us to aggressively grow our sales efforts and our manufacturing capability," said Seahorse CEO Jay Teich. "We will use the funds to double our worldwide sales coverage and will be hiring at our manufacturing plant in Chicopee, MA, ensuring that we keep pace with market demand for our XF system."
The Boston office of Foley & Lardner LLP acted as company counsel in the financing.
About Seahorse Bioscience
Seahorse instruments are the new standard in cell-based metabolic assays. Scientists worldwide use XF Analyzers to advance their research in understanding the role of mitochondrial function in obesity, diabetes, aging, cancer, cardiovascular function and safety toxicity. Founded in 2001, Seahorse is headquartered in Billerica, MA with a European sales office in Copenhagen, Denmark. For more information, please visit http://www.seahorsebio.com.
Seahorse Bioscience, Inc.
Media Contact: Cynthia Egan