Xenex robot, courtesy photo

Xenex Disinfection Services, which makes a germ zapping robot for hospitals, just announced it has raised an additional $38 million.

The San Antonio-based company, founded in 2009, has raised $94 million to date.

Originally founded in Austin by Brain Cruver, Julie Stachowiak and Mark Stibich, the company moved its headquarters and manufacturing operations to San Antonio in 2012. That’s when Morris Miller, former Rackspace co-founder and executive, took over as Chief Executive Officer. Xenex has about 120 employees.

Essex Woodlands led the latest funding round which includes new participation from Piper Jaffray Merchant Banking and continued investment from existing investors Malin Corp. and Tectonic Ventures.

Xenex plans to use the money to grow its sales force for product development, scientific research and international expansion.

The problem the Xenex robot addresses is a deadly one. Every day, nearly 300 people die in the U.S. from a hospital acquired infection. Infections result from microorganisms such as Clostridium difficille, known as C.diff, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, known as MRSA and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, known as CRE.

Xenex has created Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping robots that can eradicate those germs in a hospital room or surgery center easily and in less than five minutes. The robot uses pulsed xenon ultraviolet or UV light rays to disinfect and destroy deadly viruses, bacteria and spores before they pose a threat to patients and healthcare workers. The robots cost about $105,000 each.

Studies have shown that hospitals using the Xenex robots have decreased their C.diff, MRSA and Surgical Site Infection rates by 50 percent to 100 percent.

Today, about 400 hospitals, Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense facilities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa and Japan use the Xenex robots.

Silicon Hills News did this profile on the company in 2015 for our annual Life Sciences 32-page print magazine.