CULVER CITY, Calif., Oct. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today SOFIE, an emerging theranostics company focused on Positron Emission Tomography (PET) tracers and radiopharmaceutical-based therapeutics, PET scanners, and radiochemistry systems, announces that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded the company three grants totaling $5M under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
A Phase IIB award, for approximately $2M over two years, administered by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), will support the continued development of a benchtop, microfluidic-based radiosynthesizer for synthesizing PET tracers on-demand for brain imaging and other applications.
A second Phase IIB award, for approximately $2M, administered by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will support the implementation of SOFIE's flagship platform, the ELIXYS FLEX/CHEM and PURE/FORM automated radiosynthesizer, in a clinical trial for [18F]CFA, a novel diagnostic PET tracer for imaging immune response. Additionally, the award will enable further buildout of ELIXYS systems and development of the SOFIE Probe Network web-portal. Both the NCI and NIMH awards are in partnership with UCLA.
Finally, a Phase II award in partnership with UCSF, for approximately $1M, will be administered by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) for further development of a platform technology for producing radiofluorinated proteins, a class of diagnostic PET tracers with applications across a range of diseases.
Dr. Melissa Moore, SOFIE's Co-Founder, CTO, and one of the Principal investigators, said, "We are excited to take these products through the next steps in their development towards commercialization with the NIBIB, NCI, and NIMH as our partners." Patrick Phelps, SOFIE's Co-Founder, President and CEO, said "NIH's SBIR program continues to be one of the most important drivers of innovation in this country. Emerging companies must be very careful when making high-risk technological bets, as failure rates remain high for many startups. Winning an SBIR provides non-dilutive funding for entrepreneurs and scientists to be bold and pursue what they believe in."
The early vision for molecular imaging was to revolutionize clinical diagnostics and therapeutics to better understand and treat the biology of disease. Today, SOFIE brings that vision to life by increasing the adoption and application diversity of theranostics by removing the cost and complexity traditionally associated with the technology. With a full line of imaging and radiochemistry systems and a premier radiopharmacy network and contract manufacturing organization to supply novel agents for diagnosis and therapy, SOFIE is dedicated to improving patient health.