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BioGenerator Portfolio Company Finds Success in St. Louis

Oct 03, 2014

BioGenerator congratulates its portfolio company, Adarza BioSystems, on closing a $6.8 million Series A financing round and its plans to expand its St. Louis presence. BioGenerator, an entrepreneurial support and investment organization, invested in previous funding rounds as the first St. Louis-based investor in Adarza, a leading next-generation innovator in label-free, multiplex assays for measuring clinical and point-of-care (POC) samples with operations in Rochester, New York and St. Louis.

Connecting to the collaborative St. Louis bioscience community provided Adarza with easy access to the capital, talent and physical infrastructure necessary to grow their business – helping enable Adarza to attract investment from a significant corporate strategic partner in a round co-led by St. Louis-based Cultivation Capital. The company serves as a strong example of success enabled by the coordinated assets available to bioscience startups in St. Louis.

BioGenerator is proud to have played a lead role in helping Adarza access the key resources necessary for an early stage bioscience company. After being introduced to the company by SAGE Labs CEO David Smoller, BioGenerator was impressed early on by Adarza’s technology and first invested in early 2013 as the catalyst for the company to commit to St. Louis. It was followed by a second syndicated investment with other regional investors in mid-2013. “Adarza’s technology has clear commercialization opportunities and BioGenerator welcomed the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this promising company,” said Charlie Bolten, vice president for BioGenerator. As part of the funding, Bolten joined the Board of Directors for Adarza, helping to guide the company during the pre-seed and seed funding periods.

In addition to Bolten’s role on the board, BioGenerator also provided no cost support through its Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program. Preston Keller worked with the company during his tenure as a BioGenerator EIR to advance Adarza’s business development strategy, raise capital and recruit talent. That partnership produced strong results and Keller is now vice president of business development for Adarza.

As part of the package to recruit Adarza to St. Louis, BioGenerator also supported the company by granting free office and lab facilities and laboratory equipment for 2013-2014, key to setting up Adarza’s St. Louis operations during a period when the company had not yet raised significant capital. The company initially located in BioGenerator’s offices at CIC@CET and, upon hiring St. Louis scientific staff, moved to the BioGenerator Labs in the CORTEX-1 building, reducing the cost and hurdles for the company to establish their product development operations in St. Louis.

“BioGenerator is excited to see Adarza’s success. They are a great example of what the growing St. Louis bioscience community can provide early-stage companies and the collaborations that can happen,” said Eric Gulve, president of BioGenerator. “Adarza’s ability to raise funds from large national venture firms is proof that exciting things are happening here.”

In addition to backing from BioGenerator and investment from Cultivation Capital, Adarza also received regional support from St. Louis Arch Angels, Arch Grants, Missouri Technology Corporation and the Helix Fund.

Proceeds from the Series A financing will help Adarza launch their first product and accelerate development of second generation, highly-sensitive assays. The funding will also allow Adarza to grow their product development in St. Louis.

About BioGenerator

BioGenerator produces a sustained pipeline of successful bioscience companies and entrepreneurs in St. Louis by creating, funding, and growing promising new enterprises. BioGenerator is a nonprofit subsidiary of BioSTL, which advances St. Louis’ prosperity by cultivating a thriving bioscience sector, building regional capacity to capitalize on St. Louis’ world class medical and plant biosciences. Please visit www.BioGenerator.org for additional information. Follow BioGenerator on Twitter @BioGeneratorSTL.

About Adarza BioSystems, Inc.

Adarza, with operations in Rochester, N.Y. and St. Louis, Missouri, is a leading developer and manufacturer of label-free biosensor assays and instruments servicing life science research,

drug development and in vitro diagnostics customers. Adarza’s products and services utilize its proprietary Arrayed Imaging ReflectometryTM (“AIR”) detection platform that is capable of rapidly identifying and quantifying a series of biological target analyte species in a fluid sample, without

chemical labels or complex processing. The AIR technology offers key performance benefits in sensitivity, speed, multiplex arrays, sample size, dynamic range, ease of use and industry- leading low cost of use. Adarza products address broad quantitative analyte detection applications, including cancer biomarkers, drug and vaccine development, allergy, immunology and infectious diseases research. For more information, visit www.adarzabio.com.