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SuperSonic Imagine Raises €34.5 Million in Series C Financing to Support Application Development and Commercial Expansion at Global Level


11/29/2010 6:54:11 AM

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- SuperSonic Imagine’s historical investors, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, Auriga Partners, Crédit Agricole Private Equity, NBGI Ventures, BioAm (managed by CDC Entreprises), Wellington Partners and IXO Private Equity, reiterated their strong support through a combined investment of €19 million in this round.

These funds will be used to accelerate development of SuperSonic Imagine’s unique technology and to finance the worldwide commercialization of the Aixplorer® MultiWave™ Ultrasound System. After an initial focus on breast imaging, the company will now expand the dedicated clinical applications of Aixplorer to include: liver, thyroid, abdominal, musculoskeletal, gynecological and prostate imaging.

Jacques Souquet, founder and CEO of SuperSonic Imagine commented, “We originally set out to raise €25 million and it was a great satisfaction to see this round oversubscribed to bring a total amount of €34.5 million. These funds transform the financial situation of SuperSonic Imagine and give us the means to accelerate our R&D and to penetrate key commercial markets.”

“The progress made by Jacques and his team over the last three years is terrific, in particular the completion of the largest breast clinical trial ever undertaken by an ultrasound company, with greater than 1000 patients, to validate this novel approach to ultrasound imaging. We are also pleased with the recent partnership with Hologic Inc. and the launch of the new MultiWave platform.” said François Valencony, Managing Director of Mérieux Développement. “We are glad to help reinforce SuperSonic Imagine’s capital structure and provide our contribution to the emergence of a new leader in the imaging field, providing not only financing but also our network and industrial expertise, together with Innobio and Canon as new shareholders.”

SuperSonic Imagine’s Aixplorer® ultrasound system is the only product on the market that uses revolutionary MultiWave™ Technology to image not one, but two waves to better characterize tissue. One ultrasound wave ensures impeccable image quality and the other, a shear wave, displays in real-time, local tissue elasticity in kilopascals*. Aixplorer is the only system available that can, in real-time, generate, capture and compute shear wave velocity resulting in the bi-dimensional display of true tissue elasticity on a color-coded map. The assessment of tissue stiffness is essential for physicians as it brings more information about a lesion. ShearWave Elastography provides physicians with increased confidence and assurance in the diagnostic process.

ShearWave™ Elastography is different from conventional or strain elastography, which relies on manual compression for palpation and is therefore subjective and operator dependent. Instead, ShearWave Elastography is user-skill independent as it does not rely on compression but is based on the simultaneous use of both ultrasound waves and shear waves to assess tissue stiffness. In addition, results are reproducible and lesions can be monitored over time.

Providing local tissue elasticity information in real time called for major technological innovation in the ultrasound medical imaging field. Capturing shear waves in tissue requires acquisition rates of at least 5,000 Hz while conventional ultrasound acquisition speeds are approximately 100 Hz. With UltraFast™ Imaging, Aixplorer can acquire data at speeds of up to 20,000 Hz, which is 200 times faster than conventional ultrasound. This breakthrough, solely owned and patented by SuperSonic Imagine, represents a novel and competitive alternative to the traditional platforms currently marketed by medical imaging companies.

Laurent Arthaud, General Partner of InnoBio fund commented, “We are very happy to invest in SuperSonic Imagine. This deal is in line with our strategy based on investments in very innovative technologies in France. We have been convinced by the great scientific level of the innovation and by the high level of professionalism of the management.”

Dr. Toshiaki Ikoma, Executive Vice President & CTO, Canon Inc. added, “SuperSonic Imagine’s UltraFast Imaging is a unique and cutting edge technology with a great potential to expand into various functionalities. We are very pleased with this investment as a symbol of our future collaboration.”

About SuperSonic Imagine

Founded in 2005 and based in Aix-en-Provence, France, SuperSonic Imagine is an innovative, multinational medical imaging company dedicated to developing a revolutionary ultrasound system: the Aixplorer®. The system leverages a unique MultiWave™ technology that enables the user to detect, characterize and, in the future, treat palpable and non-palpable masses. Engineers from all over the world have joined the SuperSonic Imagine team and the company now has offices in Aix-en-Provence, Seattle, London and Munich. In addition to successful direct sales in France, Germany, USA and UK, SuperSonic Imagine built a strong distribution network worldwide, including Hologic Inc. (Nasdaq:HOLX - News) for the breast care market in the USA as well as dedicated strategic partner Canon in Japan. SuperSonic Imagine holds the exclusive right, title and interest to 25 international patents and submissions in diagnostic imaging and therapy applications. SuperSonic Imagine is backed by strong financial, strategic and industrial investors, including Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners (EdRIP), Auriga Partners, Crédit Agricole Private Equity (CAPE), NBGI Ventures, Bioam, Mérieux Développement, Wellington Partners, Innobio, Canon (NYSE:CAJ - News), and IXO Private Equity (formerly known as ICSO Private Equity).

For further information about SuperSonic Imagine please visit our website: www.supersonicimagine.com

About Aixplorer®:

Aixplorer® is a next-generation ultrasound imaging system with unique technology that offers advantages in lesion detection and characterization. Using a method of imaging called ShearWave™ Elastography, Aixplorer can measure true tissue elasticity, in real time, providing quantifiable*, user-skill independent and reproducible results. The Aixplorer ultrasound system also provides impeccable images and sophisticated features all packaged in an ergonomic design, to assist in the imaging diagnostic process. Aixplorer was named after its birthplace, Aix-en-Provence, in France. The Aixplorer has both CE mark approval since 2008 and FDA clearance since 2009.

*Quantification tool available outside USA

About Mérieux Developpement:

Mérieux Développement is the healthcare investment company of Institut Mérieux, a French industrial holding company dedicated to healthcare, which currently employs nearly 10,000 people worldwide. Institut Mérieux has majority ownership of bioMérieux (Euronext Paris, BIM), Silliker, Transgene and ABL Inc. Mérieux Développement intends to invest up to €70 million as minority shareholder from 2010 to 2013 in the field of life science on a global basis, working alongside entrepreneurs and innovative companies whose products and services can bring genuine advances to the health of patients and consumers worldwide.

More information can be found at www.merieux-developpement.com

About CDC Entreprises and InnoBio:

CDC Entreprises is a management company authorized by France’s financial market regulator, the AMF, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts. CDC Entreprises manages the group’s public interest activities, including the FSI (the French Strategic Fund), in the field of private equity for SMEs and other public and private institutions investing in small and medium-size French Businesses. It makes direct and indirect investments in companies, on a national or regional level, ranging from technology seed funding to small company transmissions. CDC Entreprises covers SMEs’ entire financing chain. It takes more risk than the traditional players, positioning itself much more strongly in activities such as the provision of seed money and venture capital, and targeted areas such as biotechnology. It takes stakes in SMEs’ capital up to a maximum of €15 million for any one company.

InnoBio is a French venture capital fund of EUR 139 million, managed by CDC Entreprises within FSI France investtissement program, and is 37 percent subscribed by the FSI and leading international pharmaceutical companies established in France such as Sanofi-Aventis, GSK, Roche, Novartis, Pfizer, Lily, Ipsen, Takeda and Boehringer Ingelheim. The main objective of the fund is to make direct equity and quasi-equity investments in companies that provide innovative technology products and services in the healthcare market. Innobio’s investor team, specialized in this sector and headed by Laurent Arthaud, made its first investment in January 2010.

www.cdcentreprises.fr – www.fonds-fsi.fr

About Canon (NYSE:CAJ):

Canon Inc., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan is a leader in the fields of professional and consumer imaging equipment and information systems. Originally established in 1937 as Precision Optical Industry, Co., Ltd., a camera manufacturer, Canon has successfully diversified and globalized its operations to become a worldwide industry leader in professional and consumer imaging systems and solutions. Canon has set its sights on the future to provide society with new forms of value, promoting research and development in such areas as medical imaging employing optical-sensor and image-processing technologies.

Read at BioSpace.com

   

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