PARIS--(Marketwired - Apr 2, 2013) - SuperSonic Imagine, a French ultrasound company, is pleased to announce that it has raised EUR 28 million with EUR 14 million invested by the FSI (French Investment Fund) alongside two new investors, Alto Invest and KLSC (Kuwait Life Sciences Company) and a substantial subscription from the company's historical investors.
Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, Auriga Partners, Omnes Capital (formerly Crédit Agricole Private Equity), CDC Entreprises, NBGI Ventures, Wellington Partners, iXO Private Equity, and Mérieux Développement, along with Alto Invest and KLSC, are subscribing to EUR 14 million.
SuperSonic Imagine will invest the funds to accelerate international sales and marketing of its Aixplorer® ultrasound device, a product which originally targeted women's health when it was launched in 2009, but which now covers all fields of general radiology, with regulatory approval in all key international markets.
Aixplorer's competitive advantages include exceptional image quality and unique technologies such as: ShearWave™ Elastography and UltraFast™ Doppler. ShearWave Elastography is the only modality available on any ultrasound product which is able to detect tissue stiffness in a reproducible and quantifiable manner. UltraFast Doppler, is unique in its ability to image blood flow up to ten times faster than conventional color Doppler. This not only provides more reliable diagnoses for the patient but it also significantly accelerates workflow for the practitioner.
As a result of the expansion of its addressable market, SuperSonic Imagine registered strong growth in 2012 with a turnover of EUR 14 million, up 40% from the previous year, 80% of which came from international.
"Currently certified in 54 countries and with more than 500 units sold around the globe, Aixplorer is a worldwide success. This new injection of funds will allow us to take a leap forward in our commercial development with a particular focus on the booming Chinese market," explained Jacques Souquet, founder and CEO of SuperSonic Imagine.
"The FSI sees SuperSonic Imagine as a company with considerable potential for growth based on revolutionary technological innovation that had its origins from a successful technology transfer from top research institutions into a great start up company. The FSI is pleased to provide SuperSonic Imagine the funding it needs to pursue both its business and scientific development worldwide," said Mailys Ferrere, Director of Investment at the FSI and member of the FSI Executive Board.
Claude Cohen-Bacrie Executive VP & CTO of SuperSonic Imagine added that "This investment will help us remain at the forefront of scientific and technical innovation and affirm our clinical position through new research."
Currently, there is data from more than fifty clinical trials that prove the benefits of ShearWave Elastography in improving ultrasound diagnoses for various diseases including breast cancer, prostate cancer, chronic liver disease, muscular disorders, thyroid nodules, and many more.
Abdominal, gynecological and pediatric imaging are also available on the Aixplorer, and the results appear very promising.
Vascular imaging, launched in 2011 with UltraFast Doppler, has also been very successful. Aixplorer's UltraFast Doppler is the only Doppler able to combine Color Flow Imaging with Pulsed Wave Doppler in a single ultrasound mode. The technology produces a complete vascular analysis in just a few seconds with an unrivalled level of detail, improving the examination procedure and providing more reliable diagnoses.
Gordon Waldron, Executive VP and CFO of SuperSonic Imagine, is pleased with this new investment which is among the most significant private fundings in the French healthcare sector in recent years. He added, "Since inception, we have been primarily R&D focussed as SuperSonic brought the first innovation to the ultrasound space in the past 20 years. Aixplorer has now become a mature system with a range of applications that meet the needs of both general imaging experts and their patients. Consequently, we will use these proceeds to increase our sales and marketing footprint as we enter the growth and execution phase of our development ».
About SuperSonic Imagine -www.supersonicimagine.com
Founded in 2005 and based in Aix-en-Provence (France), SuperSonic Imagine is an innovative, international company specializing in ultrasound medical imaging. The company designs, develops, and markets a revolutionary ultrasound system, Aixplorer®, with a unique ultrasound imaging technology, called MultiWave™ Technology. This technology allows Aixplorer® to be the only ultrasound system that images two types of waves to better characterize tissue; an ultrasound wave to ensure impeccable image quality and a shear wave, ShearWave™ Elastography, to compute and display true tissue stiffness in real time by acquiring images nearly 200 times faster than conventional systems.
In 2009, SuperSonic Imagine was granted 510(k) clearance by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States and CE mark in Europe for the marketing of Aixplorer®. Distribution agreements have been signed with prestigious companies such as Hologic (NASDAQ: HOLX) for the breast market in the U.S.A. and Canon (NYSE: CAJ) for Japan. SuperSonic Imagine's distribution network has now more than 35 partners worldwide.
About French Investment Fund
FSI is a public limited company, 51% held by The Caisse des Dépôts group, and 49% held by The French State. As a prudent investor, FSI holds a minority stake into French private companies that build valuable and competitive strategies increasing French business opportunities.
More information to come on www.fonds-fsi.fr
About BPI France
OSEO, CDC Entreprises and French Investment Fund will go forward as a single company, BPI France, known as French Public Investment Bank, as soon as merger requirements, such as European Commission Compliance and Regulation, will be fully integrated. This institution will offer a broad range of funding solutions, debt instruments as well as equity's, not only dedicated to SMEs and innovative companies but also to large-scale companies that foster French economic growth from a strategic perspective.
More information to come on www.bpifrance.fr
About ALTO INVEST - www.altoinvest.fr
ALTO INVEST is an independent management company dedicated to investments in SMEs. ALTO INVEST manages over EUR 300 million in retail and institutional funds (FCPI, FIP and FCPR), invested in more than 100 European innovation-rich companies representing a total turnover of EUR 6 billion and 40,000 employees.
Alto Invest is fully approved by the French financial authorities (Autorité des Marchés Financiers) and is an active member of the French Asset Management Association (Association Française de la Gestion Financière).
Kuwait Life Sciences Company (KLSC) is fully owned by National Technology Enterprises Company (NTEC); a Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) fully owned company. KLSC aims to accelerate the transfer of best in-class technologies and innovative business models practiced globally to match the needs of Kuwait & the region, in addition to offering healthcare professionals with distinguished opportunities for development and growth that match international standards. To achieve this, KLSC looks for investment opportunities in the areas of medical technology, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and healthcare services which address prevalent diseases in the MENA region. KLSC also has a distribution arm to commercialize innovative medical technologies mainly in laboratory diagnostics, surgical & Imaging, mobile Health and screening programs. With regards to professional development, KLSC has established the first healthcare academy in the GCC region offering continuous medical education programs across all healthcare sectors.
For further information, visit the KLSC website at www.klsc.com.kw