A seattle software company serving the life-sciences industry has raised $9.5 million to expand its sales force and add new products. Teranode attracted the investment...

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A Seattle software company serving the life-sciences industry has raised $9.5 million to expand its sales force and add new products.

Teranode attracted the investment from Ignition Venture Partners of Bellevue, Trident Capital Fund, Cargill Ventures and Washington Research Foundation Capital of Seattle. The funding comes about a year after the company raised $2.6 million from investors including Ignition and WRF.

“We’re really thrilled that we’ve got such visionary investors who … saw the value of what we had,” said CEO Joe Duncan.

The 3-year-old company’s flagship product, Teranode XDA (for “experimental design automation”), helps scientists and biotech executives manage, share and analyze the sometimes overwhelming amounts of data generated by drug research.

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Software to serve a single 10-person laboratory costs between $50,000 and $60,000, said Matt Shanahan, Teranode’s chief marketing officer. The company has at least two direct competitors in Ingenuity Systems and InforSense.

With the new funding, Teranode plans to expand its sales staff to all the major U.S. biotech hubs and eventually to the United Kingdom. It’s also investing in another product that will integrate results from clinical trials into research and development. Shanahan said that software should be on the market by the first half of 2006.

The company expects to see revenues double this year, but would not provide a figure. Teranode now has 30 employees and expects to expand to 45 by the end of the year. Biotechs sorely need information-technology products, said Tom Ranken, CEO of VizX Labs, one of two other independent companies locally in the field, which is sometimes called “bioinformatics.” Another Seattle company, Rosetta Inpharmatics, was acquired by Merck in 2001 for $630 million, and has seen its presence here grow since.

There’s need for such software because of the rapid advancement in research technology, said Ranken, who headed the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association in the mid-1990s.

Two decades ago, the challenge was trying to create scientific data. Today, it’s trying to make sense of the vast amounts of information generated, he said.

Benjamin J. Romano: 206-464-2149 or bromano@seattletimes.com