Termeer participates in $20M round for NanoString

Seattle-based NanoString Technologies has closed $20 million in a Series D round of equity financing. New investors include GE, BioMed Ventures and former Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer (photo). All previous venture investors also participated in the financing, which will be used to continue the growth of the company's life science tools business and to advance the development of its first molecular diagnostic product, a breast cancer assay based on the PAM50 gene expression signature.

NanoString's products are based on digital molecular barcoding technology invented at Seattle's Institute for Systems Biology under the direction of Dr. Leroy Hood, according to the company's website. Founded in 2003, NanoString has developed the technology into the nCounter Analysis System and began international sales operations in 2008. NanoString recently launched its second generation nCounter system, which includes the hardware that will allow the company to pursue regulatory clearance for its breast cancer subtyping and other molecular diagnostic assays.

This marks another investment by Termeer after his recent departure from Genzyme. It was revealed in September that he is seeding the Henri and Belinda Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies at Massachusetts General Hospital with a $10 million donation. He now is placing his money in a company whose technology he says can provide "an invaluable tool in cancer research and drug development, and has the potential to enable a globally scalable approach to personalized medicine."

The investment also represents the first by GE's healthymagination Fund that is aligned with the company's recently announced $1 billion commitment to new oncology R&D.

- read the NanoString release