Merck led a $12M round for AdvanDx and its tests for tough hospital infections

Merck's ($MRK) venture capital arm is the lead investor in a $12 million financing round for promising molecular diagnostic outfit AdvanDx. Their target: hospital-acquired infections that are increasingly producing drug-resistant strains.

The company, based in Woburn, MA, and Vedbaek, Denmark, plans to use this B-1 financing round to expand its product offerings and also boost its U.S. and international marketing presence. SLS Ventures AB and LD Pensions also participated. Specifically, the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund was the primary investor.

AdvanDx develops and sells rapid molecular diagnostic tests for pathogens behind major hospital-acquired infections, a growing sector for the diagnostics world. It is aiming to have a number of products on the market. The company recently won a CE mark for its Candida QuickFISH 20-minute test to identify yeast from positive blood cultures. And it has also submitted a 510(k) application with the FDA for its mecA XpressFISH test to rapidly detect MRSA infection from positive blood cultures.

The Merck Global Health Innovation Fund has invested in the diagnostics realm before. It is one of the investors behind Daktari Diagnostics, for example, the developer of an HIV test expected to start selling in Africa.

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