Axela Adds On

Axela Inc., a Toronto-based provider of DNA, RNA and protein analysis, has acquired local rival Xceed Molecular. No financial terms were disclosed. Axela is backed by VenGrowth Private Equity Partners.


Axela Inc., an innovator in systems that multiplex protein biomarker testing in clinical research and diagnostics, has acquired Xceed Molecular, developer of the award-winning Ziplex® System for gene-expression analysis, the Breast Cancer Prognostic Assay, and Colon Cancer Xpress chip. The new Axela will be introduced at the 2010 American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) annual meeting and Clinical Lab Expo, which takes place July 25 – 29 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. The expanded company offers clinical researchers a comprehensive suite of products for enhanced analysis of proteins, pathogens, DNA, and RNA to speed validation and clinical application of biomarkers.

Axela will now be headquartered at Xceed’s former facility at 50 Ronson Drive in Toronto. Rocky Ganske has been named chief executive officer, with overall responsibility for the company’s financial and manufacturing operations; David Deems is Axela’s president, overseeing sales, marketing, and business development. The two will work together on defining and implementing the company’s overall strategy.

“This is an exciting time for Axela. In February, we were honored to be recipient of this year’s coveted TBI (The Biotechnology Initiative) Emerging Company of the Year award, which recognizes important contributions by individuals and companies to the development of life sciences in Ontario,” said Mr. Ganske. “And our acquisition of Xceed provides a tremendous opportunity to accelerate introduction of novel multiplex biomarkers for diagnostics. Our focus is to simplify multiplex assay development and validation with robust, easy-to-use tools for analysis of DNA, RNA, and protein biomarkers that are designed to move seamlessly from the clinical-research arena into the workflow of the clinical-diagnostics lab.”

The Ziplex System won an R&D 100 award from R&D Magazine in 2008. It is the first integrated system for automated gene-expression analysis, and it is rapidly becoming the platform-of-choice for leading institutions performing translational research. The system standardizes and streamlines gene-expression services, while saving valuable staff time and ensuring the most reliable results. The system’s Flow-Thru Chip® technology performs highly multiplexed assays with superior reproducibility and speed compared to conventional microarray systems. It also consumes less sample and lowers costs. Significant advances in automation, array format, parallel sample processing, and analytics minimize complexity, user interaction, and variability between users and sites – key attributes for clinical-diagnostic laboratories. Axela’s dotLab® System provides the only real-time, user configurable multiplex assay in the market. The expanded company’s combined suite of panelPlus™ tools and services enable new approaches to biomarker validation, disease diagnosis, and personalized medicine. Axela also has a strong IP position, with more than 150 patents and applications worldwide. Both the Ziplex and Axela dotLab systems will be on view in booth 6758.

David Deems commented, “Blending Axela’s existing research focus with Xceed’s diagnostic programs greatly expands the reach of the new company. The complementary technologies and content are already well-positioned to improve diagnostics in infection, cancer, and other immune-related diseases. Axela will continue the validation program for Xceed’s Breast Cancer Prognostic Assay, a gene-expression signature designed to predict risk of recurrence for breast cancer patients. We’re very pleased with our progress to date and are working toward our goal of a commercial launch next year.

The company will hold a press conference on Tuesday, July 27, 2008, at 10 a.m., in room 211B, which will feature Emory’s Assistant Director of Core Laboratories, Ross J. Molinaro, Ph.D., who oversees translational research at the Emory lab using Xceed’s Ziplex automated gene-expression system. Dr. Molinaro and his colleagues are performing pre-release testing of Xceed’s Colon Cancer Xpress Chip, currently for research only, and are validating a renal cell carcinoma signature for use as a laboratory-developed test. A poster presentation (E-29) “Colorectal Cancer Gene Expression Profiling Using a Novel Microarray Technology” will take place on Thursday, July 29, 2010, 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

About Axela Inc. (

Axela’s provides a powerful new approach to DNA, RNA and protein analysis that will revolutionize multiplex biomarker testing in clinical research and diagnostics. Axela’s commercial research products significantly improve the amount and quality of information derived from traditional assays. This approach shortens time to result, greatly simplifies multiplexing, and provides access to unique categories of markers that form a pipeline of future diagnostic offerings. Axela operates from its ISO 13485 certified facilities in Toronto and its major investor is VenGrowth Private Equity Partners Inc.

About Emory’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (

With more than 40 faculty investigators, state-of-the-art facilities, and over $22 million in annual research funding, Emory rank among the top 10 pathology departments in NIH grant funding, and are at the forefront of research and discovery in a wide range of fields. Experimental Pathology at Emory covers the spectrum from basic cellular and molecular processes through applied disease research. In addition to its longstanding strengths in immunology and cardiovascular biology, the department has built renowned programs in epithelial biology, molecular oncology, and microbial pathogenesis. Within its highly interactive department, basic researchers have a unique opportunity to work side-by-side with their clinician colleagues and to see their discoveries applied rapidly in patient care.