Ex-Genzyme CEO Termeer, GE back translational tech with $20M round

Henri Termeer may have retired from Genzyme after the Sanofi buyout, but he hasn't lost his appetite for betting on promising new technologies for the life sciences field. This morning Seattle-based NanoString Technologies announced that Termeer has stepped up with GE Healthcare and BioMed Ventures as new investors in a $20 million D round for the R&D tool-maker.

NanoString has been building a reputation for itself in the translational research field. It has just come out with a second-gen version of its nCounter analysis system, which has been used at the prestigious Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for genome analysis, epigenomics and cancer research. In the next few weeks NanoString plans to present the results from its first clinical study of a breast cancer assay based on the PAM50 gene expression signature and it's promising to deliver new technology that will make it much simpler to understand the complex set of genetic triggers behind cancer.

"The development and use of targeted cancer therapies requires understanding each patient's tumor at a molecular level," said Termeer. "NanoString's technology provides an invaluable tool in cancer research and drug development, and has the potential to enable a globally scalable approach to personalized medicine."

This is one of the first investments being made by GE's healthymagination Fund, a billion-dollar program to back oncology R&D. Existing investors at Clarus Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and OVP Venture Partners all stepped back in on the fourth round.

- here's the press release