Imaging diagnostics company Magnetic Insight today announced $17 million in Series B funding led by Celesta Capital, with participation from Alumni Ventures Group, Gaingels and others, along with existing investors 5AM Ventures and Sand Hill Angels.
The funding will support Magnetic Insight's continued growth and expansion of its Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) technology into clinical applications.
MPI is an emerging clinical imaging modality that allows clinicians to directly monitor a cancer patient's cell therapy location, migration, persistence, and quantity to inform clinical decision making. By directly imaging cell therapy in each patient, MPI captures cellular-level information unavailable from conventional imaging modalities, including CT, MRI, or nuclear medicine. This new information lets MPI offer what no other imaging modality can: the ability to monitor a costly cell therapy directly and inform physicians on the best clinical management.
Magnetic Insight's goal is to offer clinicians a method to directly monitor cell therapy, enabling better and earlier clinical decisions, and optimal clinical outcomes. Their initial clinical application will focus on using MPI technology to monitor cell therapy (e.g., CAR-T, NK) in cancer patients. Cell therapy has fundamentally changed the cancer treatment landscape, showing impressive results in blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. Unfortunately, the solid tumor landscape has proven more challenging due to an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment that frequently excludes or inhibits cell therapy. Currently, there is no direct imaging method to monitor cell therapy localization in solid tumors to predict and monitor treatment responses.
"Bringing MPI to the clinic is where we will get to see this phenomenal technology flourish and directly impact patient outcomes," said Patrick Goodwill, CEO, CTO, and Co-founder of Magnetic Insight. "The targeted and high contrast images from MPI will enable clinicians to see where cell therapies are falling short in the treatment of solid tumors and to adjust treatment regimens accordingly."
"Dr. Patrick Goodwill's breakthrough in X-Space Magnetic Particle Imaging has the potential to revolutionize the rapidly-advancing field of biomedical diagnostic imaging," said Steven Conolly, PhD, Co-founder of Magnetic Insight, the Cook Professor of Bioengineering, and a Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley. "We are continuing to collaborate on advanced applications like CAR-T cell monitoring with MPI as well as new high-resolution MPI tracers, all of which represent exciting steps as Magnetic Insight's technology moves into the clinical realm."
Magnetic Insight's clinical suite will include the clinical Momentum Imager and reagents optimized for visualizing cell therapy.