Startup Metabolon has closed on $4 million of the $6 million it was seeking in venture funding, The News & Observer reported Thursday.

The company, which is focused on metabolomics (interaction of small molecules), hopes to help other firms discover new drug compounds as well as develop its own.

John Ryals, the former chief executive officer of Paradigm Genetics, is CEO for Metabolon.

Investors include The Aurora Funds, Trelys Ventures of Columbia, SC, Alexandria Real Estate Equities of California, and an investment group led by genomics mapping pioneer Craig Venter.

Aurora also had provided seed funding for Metabolon.