SuperSonic Imagine SA, a medical instrumentation company founded in April 2005 by a team of experts in ultrasound and medical imaging, has raised €10 million in the form of series-A funding. This international round, following seed funding by Auriga Partners in August 2005, was managed by Crédit Agricole Private Equity, through Auriga Partners, followed by NBGI Ventures and BioAm.
SuperSonic Imagine’s mission is to develop revolutionary medical ultrasound technology for assessing tissue elasticity. One expected benefit of the technology is improved characterization of cancer damage (palpable or not), and higher diagnostic efficacy, leading to better specificity in the assessment of lesions. In addition, it will spearhead the development of new HIFU (High Intensity Focussed Ultrasound) solutions in the high-growth segment of non-invasive therapies.
The new funds will be used for developing an initial prototype addressing the breast cancer diagnostic market, and for starting up clinical trials in the US and Europe. The technology will also be extended for use in other applications, including diagnosis of thyroid, prostate and liver cancer.
Key differentiating factors behind rapid and successful prototype development include direct access to patients through cooperation with Institut Curie, and support from Professor Mathias Fink’s Waves and Acoustics Laboratory (a CNRS facility located at the prestigious School of Industrial Physics and Chemistry in Paris), where the innovative technology originated.
Jacques Souquet, founder and CEO of SuperSonic Imagine explains that “this initial funding round will enable us to strengthen our international research and development team, one third of which is made up of French scientists back from the United States. The system we are developing will provide the basis for a new generation of ultrasound scanner, with extremely fast image rates (greater than 3,000 per second) for non-invasive mapping of tissue elasticity properties, reproducible and user independent. Scientific support from the CNRS laboratory is crucial in this endeavour.”
Alexia Perouse, investment manager with Crédit Agricole Private Equity, is “delighted to have carried through this initial funding round to support the development of SuperSonic Imagine. The technology developed by this company goes beyond the capabilities of classic ultrasound scanners to meet the eager expectations of clinicians for improved patient monitoring systems. The quality of this breakthrough technology is matched by the know-how of the Franco-American team put together by Jacques Souquet. Both of these factors were instrumental in convincing us of the potential of SuperSonic Imagine to become a key player in the field of ultrasound imaging.”
Jacques Souquet, founder and CEO — Tel: +33 (0)4 42 99 24 35
For more information: www.supersonicimagine.fr
Crédit Agricole Private Equity
Alexia Perouse, life science investment manager — Tel: +33 (0)1 43 23 95 94
About Crédit Agricole Private Equity
Crédit Agricole Private Equity is an AMF-accredited asset management subsidiary of Crédit Agricole SA, specialising in private equity investment in non-listed companies. A team of thirty experts in four divisions (Later-Stage Financing & LBO, Venture Capital, Secondary Market, Mezzanine) manages €1.4 billion in the form of FCPR, FCPI and private equity companies (SCR). Crédit Agricole Private Equity enables corporate managers to implement their growth plans. Companies benefiting from investments by the Life Science Capital Risk team include Biolipox, Diatos, METabolic Explorer and Fovea Pharmaceuticals.
About Auriga Partners
Auriga Partners is a Paris-based independent capital-risk company specialising in seed-fund and early-stage investment in high-potential, high-innovation IT and lifescience companies in Europe, North America and Israel. Auriga Partners manages three funds topping €198 million. In addition to its investment business, Auriga Partners also provides know-how in team formation, organisation, network expansion and setting up strategic partnerships.
About NBGI Ventures
NBGI Ventures manages a UK-based fund of €60 million, addressing investments in European IT, energy and medtech companies. NBGI Ventures employs a team of four experts in London and Athens to examine investment opportunities in Europe, including Greece.
BioAm is a joint risk fund of €51 million managed by BioAm Gestion SA for early-stage funding of highgrowth- potential biotechnology companies deriving from French public or private research initiatives. Healthcare-sector investment focuses include biopharmaceuticals, medical instrumentation and diagnosis systems.