EMERYVILLE, Calif., April 2, 2008 — ProGenTech, a life sciences company based in Shanghai, China and Emeryville, CA developing a contamination free, cassette based automated nucleic acid purification system, announced today that it has closed a $21 million Series C financing led by Bay City Capital (San Francisco) and DT Capital (Shanghai).
“We are very impressed by the technical achievements the ProGenTech team has accomplished to date. This round of financing gives us a unique opportunity to integrate the value of the enhanced ProGenTech management team, Bay City Capital’s life sciences expertise and DT Capital’s local know-how. We are excited to work with ProGenTech in establishing itself as a key player in its field,” said Joe Tian, Founding Managing Partner at DT Capital.
The key advantage of ProGenTech’s automated system is that it eliminates the possibilities of user exposure and cross-contamination by virtue of its unique cassette-based approach. The company’s initial products have applications in both research and medical diagnostics.
ProGenTech was founded by Steve Yu and Jesus Ching, engineers with extensive experience in biotechnology instrumentation companies. Steve Yu will remain a director of the company and become its President and COO. Jesus Ching will become the Chief Scientific Officer of ProGenTech. Previous funding was obtained from angel investors, led by David Hu, who remains a director of the company. The investment by Bay City Capital and DT Capital is the company’s first round of institutional venture capital.
In connection with this financing, ProGenTech also announced that Trevor Hawkins, PhD has joined the company as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Hawkins is the primary inventor of the magnetic bead technology used by several commercial biotechnology companies. Dr. Hawkins was previously the CEO of Philips Molecular Healthcare business and held senior executive roles at GE and MDS. He was also the Director of the US DOE Joint Genome Institute, and led the DOE’s efforts to sequence the Human genome. Dr. Hawkins said, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to truly change the life science and medical diagnostics markets. The combination of the ProGenTech technology, our China manufacturing and innovation, and our growing customer base is a great starting point to shift the global healthcare dynamic. Our two new institutional investors have been great to work with, and we look forward to taking this company forward together.”
Fred Craves, Managing Director of Bay City Capital, said, “Bay City Capital is pleased to announce our first investment in China, ProGenTech, in partnership with DT Capital of Shanghai. ProGenTech has an experienced market-savvy founders group. They identified a valuable market need and have delivered the technology to provide a solution. The addition of an industry- recognized CEO to provide global commercial strategy and leadership positions ProGenTech for rapid market penetration and success.”
ProGenTech is a life science company based in Shanghai, Suzhou and Emeryville California. Established in 2005, the company has 40 employees today. Their first product, the Entura, was launched in Asia in November 2007. Additional information about ProGenTech can be found at http://www.progentech.com .
About Bay City Capital
Bay City Capital is a life sciences venture capital firm investing in opportunities across the various life sciences sectors in companies at all stages of development. Established in 1997, the firm has managed six venture capital funds representing $1.5 billion in capital commitments. Bay City Capital has invested in over 70 companies to date and is actively seeking new investment opportunities. Additional information about Bay City Capital can be found at http://www.baycitycapital.com .
About DT Capital
DT Capital Partners is a China-based venture capital firm focused on early to expansion stage investments in the consumer, media, energy, and technology sectors. DT Capital invests in companies that have large market opportunities, strong management teams, and demonstrated models in both technology based and traditional businesses. DT Capital currently manages over $500 million in capital, and is affiliated with Madrone Capital in the US, which is the investment entity for the Walton family. Additional information about DT Capital can be found at http://www.dtcap.com .