CULVER CITY, CA – OCTOBER 15th, 2013 – Sofie Biosciences (SOFIE), a diagnostics company that provides molecular imaging probes and devices to help scientists and physicians investigate the biology of disease, announced today that it has raised $5M in a Series A financing.
Based on their belief in the SOFIE team, the founders, and the technology, Tata Industries through its wholly owned subsidiary, led the Series A round, with other existing investors including MRM Capital and the Cycad Group. These funds will be used to further develop technologies to reduce the cost and complexity, while increasing the availability of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging and its application base. One of the most promising developments is a self-shielded microfluidic chip-based synthesizer for on-demand PET probe production.
“Closing the Series A is an important milestone for SOFIE. It will augment revenue from our growing instrument business, as well as funds brought in by grants and contracts, including $1.8M awarded this month by the NIMH. Together, these will enable the team to accelerate and expand SOFIE’s product pipeline,” said President & CEO, Patrick Phelps.
A spinout of UCLA and Caltech, SOFIE was founded in 2008 by a group of scientists, physicians, and industry professionals who have long worked toward increasing the diversity and value of PET imaging probes by removing barriers that limit access.
About Tata Industries
Tata Industries promotes the Tata group’s entry into new and high-technology businesses. It has initiated and promoted several Tata ventures in sectors like control systems, IT, auto components, advanced materials, telecom hardware and services. The Tata group, which champions deployment of technology for consumer-centric benefits, operates in seven business sectors: materials, engineering, IT and communications, energy, services, consumer products and chemicals.
About Tata Group
The Tata group comprises over 100 operating companies in seven business sectors: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals. The group has operations in more than 80 countries across six continents, and its companies export products and services to 85 countries. The total revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $100.09 billion (around Rs. 475,721 crores) in 2011-12, with 58 percent of this coming from business outside India. Tata companies employ over 450,000 people worldwide. The Tata name has been respected in India for more than 140 years for its adherence to strong values and business ethics. Every Tata company or enterprise operates independently. Each of these companies has its own board of directors and shareholders, to whom it is answerable. There are 32 publicly listed Tata enterprises and they have a combined market capitalisation of about $100.54 billion (as on October 3, 2013), and a shareholder base of 3.9 million. The major Tata companies are Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Communications and Indian Hotels. For more information, visit: www.tata.com.
About Cycad Group
Cycad Group is a venture capital firm focused on investments in companies with enabling solutions, disruptive technologies and innovative products. We actively pursue investment opportunities in the life sciences, energy production, advanced materials and chemical processes. With experience investing in all phases of development, from start-up through PIPE transactions, Cycad Group seeks opportunities to work with exceptional entrepreneurs creating technology-driven businesses. For more information, visit: www.cycadvc.com.
CULVER CITY, CA., October 2nd, 2013 – SOFIE BIOSCIENCES, an emerging in vivo imaging diagnostics company focused on Positron Emission Tomography (PET) probes, scanners and chemistry systems, announced today that the National Institute of Health has awarded the company a grant under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This Phase II award, for approximately $1.8M over three years, will be administered by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to support the development of the first digital chip technology for the rapid and easy synthesis of PET probes for neurobiology applications.
“This award is further validation of the potential for digital microfluidics to have a significant impact in research and patient care. It also comes in the wake of Illumina’s acquisition of Advanced Liquid Logic for next-generation sequencing based on the same digital fluidic handling principle known as electrowetting on dielectric (EWOD)”, said Patrick Phelps, President & CEO.
By developing a point-of-care radiosynthesizer that integrates the many unit operations for synthesis, purification, and quality control into a benchtop, affordable device, scientists and physicians in diverse fields may now have access to the vast library (3,000+) of PET probes without the normal infrastructure of prohibitively expensive equipment and specialized personnel that is currently a roadblock to using PET. The technology in this grant will provide researchers and clinicians additional tools to study the brain in normal and diseased states, and subsequently develop therapeutics to improve patient quality of life.
These funds will augment internal R&D investment, allowing the company to accelerate the commercialization of a microfluidic-based radiosynthesizer for synthesizing PET probes on-demand for brain imaging and other applications. Dr. Melissa Moore, Senior Director of Technology Development, who will be the Principal Investigator working in close collaboration with sub award investigator, Dr. R. Michael van Dam, at UCLA, commented, “We are so fortunate, especially in the current funding climate, to be awarded this Phase II from the NIMH, signaling their support to bring a revolutionary technology to market. We believe that miniaturizing all aspects of radiosynthesis, including shielding and reaction volumes, is a critical step to providing the freedom to synthesize PET probes on demand in a fully-automated, reasonably priced package.”
CULVER CITY, Calif., July 11, 2012 — Sofie Biosciences, Inc., a molecular imaging company offering a comprehensive range of products from preclinical imaging systems to novel diagnostic PET imaging probes, announced today that the Department of Energy has awarded the company a grant under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This Phase II award, for approximately $1M, will support the development of a microscale technology for rapid, easy synthesis of PET probes.
Presently, scientists and clinicians must accept the limitations of the centralized radiopharmacy model of PET probe production and distribution, where a limited number of probes are available from radiochemistry cores or, more often, commercial radiopharmacies that provide an even smaller menu from which to choose. The end result is that the average investigator is restricted to a handful of PET probes, namely [18F]FDG, [18F]NaF, and occasionally [18F]FLT, leaving the 1,600+ probes that have been synthesized just out of reach, thus drastically limiting the translational power of PET to a few disciplines and applications.
“We are extremely pleased to be recognized with this highly competitive award from DOE,” said Patrick W. Phelps, President and CEO. “It’s an important step to further the development of a proprietary, game-changing technology that will provides researchers and clinicians with a first-generation device for the production of one-pot PET probes.”
These funds will be invested alongside Sofie resources to help broaden access to novel PET probes to answer fundamental biological questions in disease. “Winning this grant from DOE both supports and accelerates our efforts to bring radiochemistry-on-chip to market, a critical step in Sofie’s vision of creating a transformative technology of an affordable, compact, easy-to-use system for the on-demand production of PET probes,” commented Dr. Melissa Esterby, Director, Technology Development, who will be the Principal Investigator working in close collaboration with co-PI and inventor Dr. R. Michael van Dam at UCLA.