ImmunArray, a company based in the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park in Richmond, has received a $10 million investment that will help it further develop its blood-testing technology for chronic diseases such as lupus and for traumatic head injuries.
The lead investor is Exigent, a private-equity firm based in New York and Jerusalem. The announcement of the investment was made Monday during a meeting with Gov. Terry McAuliffe at Exigent’s offices in Israel. McAuliffe is in Israel with his economic development team on a trade and marketing mission.
Founded in 2006, ImmunArray is a molecular diagnostics company that developed a proprietary test to rule out the presence of the autoimmune disease lupus in blood samples.
The test, which ImmunArray introduced last year, is significant because lupus is difficult to diagnose and can be mistaken for other autoimmune diseases. ImmunArray’s test helps avoid incorrect diagnosis and medication.
“We are pleased with how well the product is doing,” said Donna Edmonds, chairwoman and CEO of ImmunArray. “We have physicians using it all over the country.”
ImmunArray also has been working under a grant from the National Football League and a corporate partner to develop a test that will measure blood biomarkers to determine the severity of a concussion or other forms of traumatic brain injury.
“We will be in the market with a brain injury offering probably in late 2017,” Edmonds said.
ImmunArray is co-headquartered in Richmond and Rehovot, Israel. It has 15 employees in each location.
Edmonds said the $10 million investment will help the company scale up its production capacity and its research and development in Richmond and Israel.
The company also will increase sales and marketing for its lupus test, and it will increase its outreach and R&D work in traumatic brain injury testing.
Before the Exigent investment, ImmunArray had received funding from a group of Richmond-area investors.
Edmonds said some of the local investors also participated in the new $10 million investment round, and those investors have maintained a majority ownership stake.
“ImmunArray has made tremendous progress in developing a diagnostic platform that is demonstrating its capacity to transform how diseases and other conditions are diagnosed — with greater efficiency, higher levels of accuracy and enhanced simplicity,” said Eliezer Brender, chief investment officer for Exigent, in a statement from the company on Tuesday.