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Aspect Imaging Fuels Up With $30 Million for Compact MRI Systems

The Wall Street Journal

By Brian Gormley

April 14, 2017 6:30 p.m. ET

 

 

Aspect Imaging has raised $30 million to complete development on making MRI systems more widely accessible in places like emergency rooms and neonatal intensive care units.

Aspect’s fourth financing round brings its total venture backing to $150 million. The Israeli company has raised its capital from founder and Chief Executive Uri Rapoport as well as billionaire Stewart Resnick, co-founder of Los Angeles-based Wonderful Co., and Eri Steimatzky, former owner of the Steimatzky bookstore chain in Israel.

Mr. Rapoport declined to discuss Aspect’s valuation.

Conventional MRI machines fill a room. Aspect’s compact MRIs could make the technology more accessible.

A system introduced last year can make images of the hand and wrist without requiring patients to put their entire body into a machine. It is already in use in Europe and the U.S. Two new systems are meant to make MRI more accessible for infants in intensive-care units and stroke patients in emergency rooms.

Aspect expects to launch its first neonatal MRI later this year and the stroke-dedicated MRI in 2019.

Venture investment in neurological diseases has been climbing recently as startups have developed new ways to treat and manage various brain illnesses. Startups raised $1.75 billion in 2016, a jump from $725 million in 2011, according to market tracker Dow Jones VentureSource.

Another company raising capital recently is Neural Analytics, which has just secured $10 million in a round led by Reimagined Ventures. Its Lucid ultrasound system measures and displays cerebral blood flow velocities and is used to monitor patients with brain disorders.

Los Angeles-based Neural Analytics raised the capital to expand commercialization of the Lucid system and to conduct research into enabling earlier diagnosis of brain-health conditions.

Write to Brian Gormley at brian.gormley@wsj.com. Twitter: @BrianPGormley

 

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