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Metabolon Raises $4 Million Series A Round

DURHAM, NC - A local company is developing technology with the potential to decrease disease diagnostic times, treat patients faster and make drug therapies more cost-effective for companies. Durham-based Metabolon (, selected to present at CED's Venture 2004 in April, is focused on neurogenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's disease.

Metabolon uses a new method of tracking the metabolic process in human cells by analyzing metabolites, or small molecules found in human tissue. This technology enables Metabolon to formulate data that is informative and easy to understand. The data is also more quantitative than previous methods used in pharmaceutical product development. Metabolon hopes these efforts will help doctors diagnose diseases at a faster and more accurate rate.

Founded in Boston in 2000, Metabolon moved to the Research Triangle region last year under the leadership of the company's president and CEO, Dr. John Ryals, who is the former CEO and founder of RTP-based Paradigm Genetics. Ryals, who has over 20 years experience in biotechnology, held senior research positions in Novartis and Ciba-Geigy and is a board member of Athenix Corporation and N.C. State University College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.

Ryals said Metabolon was partnering with drug companies to aid their efforts in drug discovery and drug development. He said he was optimistic about Metabolon's future.

"Metabolon has a unique and powerful core technology," Ryals said. "We have positioned that technology to generate a high value for the company, and we have early results that are very encouraging. The potential seems very high with a reasonably short period of time required to achieve a high value."

Metabolon raised $4 million in Series A financing in 2003 from the Aurora Funds, The Trelys Funds, Alexandria Real Estate Equities and other individual investors. Ryals said the company is looking to raise another $2 to $3 million in the near future. Contact John Ryals (919.597.6592).

Source: Research Triangle Venture Update, Vol. VIII, Number 1, February, 2004

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