Momentum continues behind MaRS Innovation spin-off, Xagenic Inc., and its breakthrough screening technology

TORONTO, Jan. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - Xagenic Inc., a start-up company created by University of Toronto Professor Dr. Shana Kelley, in partnership with MaRS Innovation (MI), today reached a significant milestone with the completion of series A financing totaling $10-million. The financing comes from sources from the private and public sector including CTI Life Sciences Fund L.P., Qiagen N.V., and Ontario Capital Growth Corporation through its Emerging Technologies Fund.

"MI is proud that our first portfolio investment and first spin-off has reached such an important milestone in its evolution. With more than $12.2-million in funding secured to date and in such a short period of time, it's clear that there's tremendous excitement behind Xagenic's breakthrough diagnostic technology and its potential benefits to patient care," said Rafi Hofstein, CEO of MI.

Diagnostic tests that are currently on the market are considered complex, time-consuming and require skilled laboratory technicians. Xagenic employs its patented nanostructured microelectrodes to achieve highly sensitive nucleic acid sensors that detect DNA and RNA at record-breaking speed.  The technology enables a faster detection of pathogens (in less than 30 minutes) and at the point-of-care (in either a physician's office or at a patient's bedside). For patients, a quicker diagnosis of conditions (ranging from infectious disease to cancer) can mean less anxiety and faster treatment decisions.

"In today's highly competitive economy, the success in attracting significant investment to Xagenic is a clear signal that Toronto is an outstanding place to incubate ideas, find discoveries and commercialize our successes," said Dr. Kelley, Chief Technical Officer and founder of Xagenic Inc. "This investment in Xagenic will mean that we can advance our plans to commercialize our technology, create dynamic jobs and fuel the research economy."

Since its establishment in 2010, Toronto-based Xagenic has secured funding from several leading, Canadian-based organizations including: MaRS Innovation; the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund; HTX, The Health Technology Exchange; the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research; and the Ontario Centre of Excellence (Centre for Commercialization of Research).

About MaRS Innovation
MaRS Innovation provides an integrated commercialization platform that harnesses the economic potential of the exceptional discovery pipeline of 16 leading Toronto academic institutions. MaRS Innovation is a non-profit organization with an independent industry-led Board of Directors, funded through the Government of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence and contributions of its member institutions. Designed to enhance the commercial output of Toronto's outstanding scientific research cluster, MaRS Innovation will make a significant contribution to Canada's economic outlook and the quality of life for Canadians and others around the world. MaRS Innovation will advance commercialization through industry partnerships, licensing and company creation. The MaRS Innovation mission is to put Canada on the global innovation stage, by better connection research with industry and strengthening Canada's competitive capacity in knowledge based business - in short, to launch and new generation of robust, high-growth Canadian companies that will become global market leaders. For more information, visit www.marsinnovation.com

About Xagenic Canada Inc.
Founded in 2010 and based in Toronto, life sciences company Xagenic is pioneering a cutting-edge, chip-based diagnostic screening technology that uses nanotechnology-based microelectrodes. This technology, invented at the University of Toronto by renowned scientist and Professor Dr. Shana Kelley, is being developed to address a large clinical unmet need: rapid, on-demand, sample-to-answer detection of pathogens in less than 30 minutes.

SOURCE MaRS Innovation

For further information:

Media Contact
Rafi Hofstein, President & CEO
MaRS Innovation and Xagenic Inc.
647.260.7868 or rhofstein@marsinnovation.com

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