The buzz: This Southborough, MA, startup is in a provocative space, developing a blood diagnostic test for autism spectrum disorders. Traditionally, autism is diagnosed with intense behavioral therapy but isn't definitively identified until children are age 4 or older. But SynapDx's RNA test is designed to screen children for therapy by measuring RNA expression differences. If successful, the test would be used to diagnose autism disorders by age 2 or 3, which would help boost the likelihood of successful therapy. 

Milestone: The company nailed down $6 million as part of a new Series A1 venture-funding round in December 2012, attracting North Bridge Venture Partners and General Catalyst Partners. That builds on another $9.3 million raised in May 2010 and $500,000 from an individual investor. The funding will help advance a 600-patient prospective multicenter clinical study for the test.

For more:
SynapDx, Illumina ally to develop autism diagnostic tools
SynapDx attracts $6M for large autism Dx study