Auxogyn reels in $18M to fuel IVF/embryo viability test

Auxogyn has reeled in $18 million in Series B funding to help bring its diagnostic test to evaluate embryo viability during in vitro fertilization to the regulatory finish line in a big advance for the field. The new cash infusion will also fuel the product's commercial launch, the Menlo Park, CA company said.

Europe will likely be the first market for Eeva, a non-invasive test designed to tell doctors how viable an embryo is during in vitro fertilization procedures. The company says it hopes to secure a CE mark there this year and begin selling the test in Europe during the second half of 2012. But Auxogyn also hopes to file for U.S. regulatory approval over the same time period.

Helping to support the respective regulatory approval processes: A recently completed, 160-patient clinical trial at multiple centers that helped validate the safety and effectiveness of the Eeva test.

New investor SR One, the independent corporate venture capital arm of GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), led the latest funding round. GSK's involvement through its venture arm reflects drug companies' robust and ever-increasing interest in the diagnostic test business.

But all of the company's Series A investors also participated: Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, TPG Biotech and Merck Serono Ventures. Auxogyn launched in 2008, according to its website.

SR One's Simeon George said in a statement that he believes Eeva allows a non-invasive assessment of an embryo's viability during IVF procedures for the first time.

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