RALEIGH, N.C. — LipoScience, a developer of a test to determine a person’s risk of developing heart disease, has a new investor and $13 million in new capital.
The 12-year-old Raleigh firm said Tuesday it had closed on a Series F round of financing led by Camden Partners, LLC.
LipoScience plans to use the funds to add additionally staff and also to place its clinical analyzer equipment at testing facilities, such as the Mayo Clinic and labs operated by LabCorp, around the country, according to Chief Executive Officer Richard Brajer.
“”Right now, all of the samples are brought to Raleigh for tests,” Brajer said. “Within the next 12 months, our technology will be available throughout the United States.”
Ultimately, Brajer said, the company wants to grow internationally as well. “Our objective is to become the new clinical standard for care,” he explained, “We have a chance to really contribute to improving healthcare worldwide.”
Existing investors contributed $7 million to the round. They include Research Triangle Park-based Pappas Ventures, GE Capital Equity Investments, INVESCO Private Capital, Sightline Partners, Three Arch Partners and Varian, Inc. LipoScience closed on $13 million in Series E financing in August of 2003.
Charles Sanders, a longtime executive with Glaxo, is LipoScience’s chairman.
“This represents a significant vote of confidence in the current and future value of LipoScience and its products,” Sanders said in a statement. “The fact that $7 million of the funding came from existing investors demonstrates a strong commitment to this company’s vision and its prospects for the future.”
As part of the investment, Richard Johnston of Camden Partners joins the LipoScience board of directors.
LipoScience’s NMR LipoProfile test is used to determine the number of LDL particles, which carry cholesterol, in a person’s bloodstream. The higher the number of particles, the greater the risk of coronary heart disease.
According to LipoScience, measuring of cholesterol alone is not a “reliable predictor” of the number of LDL particles or the risk of coronary heart disease.
Some 20 million tests are conducted for cholesterol a year in the United States alone, Brajer said. LipoScience is closing in on the 2 million mark for the number of LipoProfile tests that have been administered. Each test costs $91.
Brajer declined to disclose the cost of the LipoScience analyzers.
The company employs 130 people, and more hires are planned. Said Brajer: “We are continually in a hiring and expanding mode.”
Since the company is privately held, Brajer declined to say whether LipoScience is profitable. “We are growing rapidly,” he said, “and we are meeting our internal objectives.”
The company was known as LipoMed until 2002. It launched operations in 1997.