BURLINGAME, CA--(Marketwired - April 03, 2014) - RefleXion Medical, a medical device company developing the first biologically-guided radiation therapy system for cancer treatment, announced today that it has closed an $11.6 million Series A financing. The round was led by Paris-based Sofinnova Partners and was joined by Pfizer Venture Investments (PVI), and Venrock.
In conjunction with the financing, Antoine Papiernik from Sofinnova Partners, Bill Burkoth from PVI and Colin Cahill from Venrock will join company Chairman, Jay Watkins, and co-founders, Dr. Samuel Mazin and Akshay Nanduri on RefleXion's Board of Directors. "We seek to invest in exceptional entrepreneurs who are developing highly disruptive medical technologies. We believe that RefleXion precisely combines those characteristics and are delighted to partner with the company to realize its vision to transform cancer treatment for the benefit of patients," said Antoine Papiernik, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners.
RefleXion's technology seamlessly integrates positron emission tomography (PET) with radiation therapy, providing the potential to deliver a higher dose of therapeutic radiation to multiple cancerous lesions and spare surrounding healthy tissue. "By using PET for real-time guidance, the RefleXion system will use the tumor's own signal to deliver radiation. We finally have a chance to make radiotherapy personal," said Dr. Samuel Mazin, President of RefleXion and inventor of the company's core technology.
This ability to treat later-stage patients with highly focused radiation is one of several compelling clinical applications uniquely enabled by RefleXion's technology. In addition to improving radiotherapy for single primary lesions, the company also believes it can capitalize on novel PET tracers that are being developed to probe biologically relevant characteristics of cancer such as tumor hypoxia, cellular proliferation, DNA synthesis and genetic markers.
Dr. Ralph Weichselbaum, D.K Ludwig Professor and Chairman of Radiation and Cellular Oncology at the University of Chicago and RefleXion Scientific Advisory Board member, commented, "I am truly excited by the potential of biologically-guided radiotherapy. Amongst many promising clinical applications, I believe RefleXion's system will be particularly well-suited for treating oligometastatic disease, which would be a significant advancement in the field."
Proceeds from the Series A financing are allocated towards expanding RefleXion's R&D organization and accelerating the system's development. "With significant funding from a stellar syndicate of medical technology investors, RefleXion can now execute on its operating plan with the objective of demonstrating the capabilities of our breakthrough technology in patients," said Akshay Nanduri, Vice President of Business Development.
Chairman of RefleXion, Jay Watkins, stated, "Having worked closely with the founders over the past several years, I am pleased to welcome the support and combined expertise of Sofinnova Partners, Venrock and PVI as we continue to build a company which hopes to change the paradigm for cancer treatment."
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is an independent venture capital firm based in Paris, France. For more than 40 years, the firm has backed nearly 500 companies at different stages of their development -- pure creations, spin-offs, as well as turnaround situations -- and worked alongside key entrepreneurs in the Life Sciences industry around the globe. With over EUR1.3 billion of funds under management, Sofinnova Partners has created market leaders with its experienced team and hands-on approach in building portfolio companies through to exit. For more information, go to www.sofinnova.fr.
About Pfizer Venture Investments
Pfizer Venture Investments (PVI), the venture capital arm of Pfizer Inc., was founded in 2004 and invests for return in areas of current or future strategic interest to Pfizer. As part of the Worldwide Business Development division, PVI seeks to remain at the forefront of life science advances, looking to identify and invest in emerging companies that are developing compounds and technologies that have the potential to enhance Pfizer's pipeline and shape the future of our industry. For more information, please visit: www.pfizer.com/partnering/areas_of_interest/venture_investments.
Originally established as the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller family in 1969, Venrock continues a tradition of partnering with entrepreneurs to establish successful, enduring companies. With a primary focus on technology and healthcare, portfolio companies have included Adify, Apple Computer, Athenahealth, Centocor, Check Point Software, DoubleClick, Endeca, Gilead Sciences, Idec Pharma, Imperva, Illumina, Intel, Millennium Pharma, SlideShare and Tudou. For more information, please visit Venrock's website at www.venrock.com and follow the firm on Twitter at @venrock.
About RefleXion Medical
RefleXion Medical is a privately held medical device company developing the first biologically-guided radiation therapy system for cancer treatment. By leveraging Positron Emission Tomography (PET) in a novel way, RefleXion's patented technology will allow tumors to continuously signal their location during treatment and potentially revolutionize the practice of radiation oncology. Early validation of RefleXion's technology was funded by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1R43CA153466-1A1). For more information, visit www.reflexionmedical.com and follow @reflexionmed on Twitter.