Picoliter Inc. Announces $22 Million Financing

Abingworth and Sprout Group Lead Funding

July 09, 2002
Mountain View, CA
Mountain View, CA, July 9, 2002—Picoliter Inc. announced today that the company has raised $22 million in a Series B financing.  Picoliter has developed ultrasound-based technology for transferring very small volumes of fluid with high precision.  The company’s unique fluid handling and analysis technology addresses a number of critical life science and drug discovery markets that in total exceed $1 billion.  The co-lead investors, Abingworth and Sprout Group, will be represented on the company’s board of directors by Dr. Jonathan MacQuitty and Mr. Vijay Lathi.

“The Series B financing is another important milestone in the evolution of Picoliter.  The funds will allow us to expand our product development and manufacturing teams and focus on additional applications of our breakthrough technology,” commented Dr. Elaine J. Heron, Chairman and CEO of Picoliter.  “We are delighted that Abingworth and Sprout Group, each with long histories in supporting successful life science firms, joined existing investors Delphi Ventures, Alloy Ventures, and Palo Alto Investors in this round.”

“In its first two years Picoliter has demonstrated application of its technology for liquid handling with biological materials, compound libraries and manufacturing of both arrays and particles,” stated Dr. Jonathan MacQuitty, President of Abingworth Management, Inc.  “Building on their strong fundamental understanding of ultrasonics, the company has filed 30 U.S. patent applications covering general use of the technology for life science tools as well as targeted, high-value applications like protein crystallization, pharmaceutical particle manufacturing and sample preparation for mass spectrometry.  The company is now developing products for applications based on several of its inventions.”

"PicoliterTM technology has two powerful advantages over all other liquid handling approaches,” noted Vijay Lathi, Principal of the Sprout Group.  “First, the ability to dispense fluid samples with no contact and second, the ability to reliably transfer volumes as tiny as a picoliter (10-12 liter).  Because these advantages will be critical to improving many processes, including high throughput screening, cell-based screening and DNA array production, we believe that the markets for Picoliter products are substantial and growing."

The company also announced successful installation of one of its acoustic drop ejection systems at Hosokawa Micron Group in Osaka, Japan. Picoliter and Hosokawa are working to together to further develop applications of the ADE technology for the production of small, uniform and multi-layer particles for pharmaceutical manufacturing.

About Picoliter Inc.
Picoliter Inc. is a development stage company located in Mountain View, CA.  The company has developed a novel technology for moving and analyzing small amounts of liquid using ultrasound energy.  The PicoliterTM liquid handling technology has broad applications in the life science tools market including microarrays, dispensing equipment, and living cell transfer devices.

Members of the Picoliter management team have successfully brought a wide variety of products based on new technologies to market.  The company includes individuals with experience in senior management, array/consumables manufacturing, business development, intellectual property protection and product development at Affymetrix, Applied Biosystems, Eastman Kodak, Incyte, International Paper, Molecular Dynamics, Packard Instruments, Symyx, and Xerox PARC.

About Abingworth
Abingworth is an independent venture firm founded in 1973 and is a key player among life science venture capital investors on both sides of the Atlantic, having offices in London and Palo Alto. Abingworth has funds under management of close to $400 million and seven experienced professionals with operational and venture capital expertise. It has backed more than 75 life science/medical companies, most of which have gone public or been acquired. For further information on Abingworth and its portfolio companies please visit www.abingworth.com.

About the Sprout Group
The Sprout Group is one of the oldest and largest venture capital firms in the US.  Since 1969, Sprout has helped finance more than 300 companies with combined sales exceeding $40 billion.  With offices in Menlo Park, New York and Chicago, Sprout focuses on helping to grow companies in datacom and telecom, technology-related services, enterprise software, and healthcare technology. Sprout Group is a venture capital affiliate of Credit Suisse First Boston.  For further information on the Sprout Group, please visit their web site at www.sproutgroup.com.