VisionGate raises $2M for early detection of lung cancer

Phoenix’s VisionGate Inc  has raised $2 million in the first portion of equity financing raised from existing and new investors. The company has developed a non-invasive test for the early detection of lung cancer using 3D cell imaging from a single sputum sample.

“We view the enthusiastic response to our current financing round as a testament to the broad potential of our innovative 3D cell imaging technology,”  VisionGate chairman and CEO Alan Nelson told the Phoenix Business Journal. “These funds will enable us to continue to rapidly advance the clinical and regulatory development of LuCED and our 3D cell imaging platform.”

VisionGate is dedicated to saving lives through early cancer  detection and prevention, utilizing its  evolutionary automated 3D cell imaging platform, the Cell-CT™,  that is capable of generating high-resolution 3D biosignatures from intact cells.  VisionGate aims to dramatically improve patient health with the world’s first, non-invasive, diagnostic test for early lung cancer  detection: LuCED™. Additional  diagnostic tests for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), bladder cancer and other cancer types will follow.

The Cell-CT uses a technique called Optical Projection  Tomography to render cells in 3D. In the Cell-CT process, cancer cells are transported through the Cell-CT’s glass micro-capillary by applying pressure to a gel that embeds cells. As the capillary spins, the cell is scanned from multiple perspectives yielding a set of pseudo-projection images. These images are combined together using a method known as Filtered Back-Projection, producing the final 3D cell volume.   VisionGate currently has 64 issued patents in 13 countries with 50+ in review.

Why is VisionGate starting with lung cancer? It’s one of the world’s biggest killers. In 2010  nearly 160,000 people will die in the United States from lung cancer; more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined (American Cancer Society).

VisionGate was recognized by AZBio this October as one of three finalists for the 2011 Bioscience Company of the Year award and is a finalist for the 2011 Innovator of the Year Award from the Arizona Technology Council which will be announced at the Governor’s Celebration of Innovation on November 17, 2011.

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An article by Jan Buchholz of the Phoenix Business Journal contributed to this post.

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