Imaging Startup Developing Cheaper, Simpler PET Scanning in Preclinical Research

November 12, 2013
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Sofie Biosciences imaging startup

Image credit: Sofie Biosciences

Sofie Biosciences imaging startup

Image credit: Sofie Biosciences

First published on MedCityNews.com. When you think of medical imaging, you likely think of x-rays, MRIs and ultrasounds. But imaging technologies are also key pieces to a research lab, where scientists first study the effects of diseases or therapies on animals.

A young California company is using a $5 million Series A to improve its molecular imaging probes and devices aimed at cutting the cost and complexity of Positron Emission Tomography imaging in preclinical research.

Sofie Biosciences Inc., founded in 2008 by a groups of scientists, physicians and industry professionals from UCLA and Caltech, raised the round from Tata Industries, MRM Capital, the Cycad Group and 9 other investors, according to a SEC filing and a statement from the company.

Although PET is a powerful tool for researchers to understand disease pathologies and evaluate new therapies, Sofie says its adoption has been limited because of high cost and operational expertise requirements. The company’s flagship device, GENISYS, is a benchtop PET imaging solution that it says allows researchers to conduct more animal studies with less investigator operation.

Frost & Sullivan gave the Culver City, California, company its Entrepreneurial Company of the Year award in 2010, saying its products “have created a new and considerably lower price tier in the preclinical PET imaging systems market.”

It was also recently awarded $1.8 million from the National Institutes of Health.

Other players in the space include Bioscan, Bruker and Siemens.