Biocartis banks $100M C round for diagnostics work

Ramping up a new product that promises to put some cutting-edge diagnostics technology in the field by 2013, Switzerland's Biocartis has rounded up a huge $100 million C round from a long list of investors.

Working with Philips, Biocartis has been developing a new assay system called the Apollo that's supposed to be able to quantify "multiple DNA- or RNA-based biomarkers in a wide variety of patient sample types." The basic idea is that physicians could use the diagnostic system just about anywhere to match a patient with the right medicine, fitting neatly into the personalized medicine movement that is driving a significant amount of drug development work.

Biocartis has already begun collaborations with a couple of notable biopharma companies, including bioMerieux and J&J ($JNJ), which is also an investor. J&J, which participated in Biocartis' $41 million B round, agreed last year to partner with Biocartis on developing tests for viral infections and neurological conditions.

"Today's financing is a key step in enabling Biocartis to deliver its broader vision for diagnostics, to enhance each patient's quality of life by offering better treatments based on better and more personalized diagnostics," said founder Rudi Pauwels. "With the backing of our investors, the drive and experience of the Biocartis team and the support of collaborators I am confident we can achieve this ambitious and important goal."

Pauwels is putting his money where his mouth is. He joined a group of investors on the $100 million round that includes Debiopharm, Philips, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, the Wellcome Trust, Biovest, and New Rhein Healthcare.  

- here's the press release