Accuri Cytometers Raises $6M for Smaller, Cheaper Cell Analysis Instruments

Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor — 

[Updated: 11:40 am] Accuri Cytometers, the Ann Arbor, MI-based company with a vision of making high-powered cell analysis machines cheaper and more accessible to biology labs, has raised $6 million in new venture capital.

The financing was disclosed Friday in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. [Updated with list of investors] Fidelity Biosciences, Flagship Ventures, Baird Venture Partners, Arboretum Ventures, and the InvestMichigan program co-managed by Credit Suisse participated in the financing, the company said in a statement today. Accuri raised $4 million last July, and $13 million in July 2008.

Accuri was founded in 2005 to carve out a new market for flow cytometers that are smaller and cheaper than the ones commonly used today. These are high-speed machines that biologists use to count and catalog large numbers of various cell types in a tissue sample. Accuri’s tool, called the C6 Flow Cytometer System, weighs about 30 pounds and covers about two square feet of counter space, while a competing tool from Becton Dickinson (NYSE: BDX) weighs about 10 times as much, and takes up 13 square feet, Accuri chief commercial officer Jack Ball said a July 2008 interview. At that time, Ball said Accuri was selling its machine for about $35,000, or less than one-third the price of the bigger tool.

By offering that lower price point, along with much lower operating costs, Accuri’s hope has been to make flow cytometry a much more accessible, everyday lab tool, like a microscope. In May, Accuri said it had sold its 500th C6 Flow Cytometer System.

[Added company comment, 11: 40 am] “Fueled by our continued sales growth in the U.S. and Europe and our recent expansion into international markets in Asia and South America, Accuri is now one of the fastest growing cell analysis companies worldwide,” said Jeffrey Williams, President and CEO of Accuri, in a company statement. “This financing round will enable us to respond to a rising number of requests for an Accuri flow cytometer for clinical diagnostic applications.”