Pepric, a spin-off of imec, successfully concluded a EURO 1.4 million capital round
In other words, Pepric will develop equipment similar to PET or SPECT scanners to monitor processes evolving slowly over several days or weeks within the body. Infectious diseases are an example of such processes, or cell therapies for which it can take a few weeks before sufficient cells have migrated to the target tissue.
For slow biological processes, for example when monitoring cell migration it is possible to locate the cells, however it remains difficult to determine the amount of cells having reached the target tissue. Pepric's sensitive tools will allow pre-clinical centres to evaluate the efficacy of new therapies and to perform early diagnosis.
The investment of 1.4 million euro will support the production and commercialization of Pepric's first product: the analysis tool for quantitative molecular and cellular detection in tissue, urine and blood samples. Furthermore it will enable Pepric to develop its core technology towards detection and imaging within the body ('in-vivo').
An important part of this capital round was financed with means form SOFI, the Spin-Off Financing Instrument being created to support spinoffs from the four Flemish Strategic Research Centres (IBBT, imec, VIB en VITO). SOFI has been launched by the Flemish minister of Innovation, Mrs. Ingrid Lieten, and is managed by PMV. Also FIDIMEC, the spin-off investment vehicle of imec, participated in this round.
SOFI (Spin-Off Financing Instrument) was created in 2011 under the impetus of the Flemish Minister for Innovation Ingrid Lieten. SOFI aims at stimulating the creation of spon-offs at the four Flemish Strategic Research Centres (VIB, IMEC, IBBT and VITO). For this new instrument, the Flemish Government provided 10 million euro. Coordination of the fund is by PMV. SOFI can invest in spin-offs in the form of shares or convertible bonds. Direct investment from SOFI may not exceed 1 million euro per spin-off, over a period of twelve months.
"At our Strategic Research Centres more than 4,000 researchers are working on new inventions that, one day, can improve the quality of our lives," says Ingrid Lieten, Flemish Minister of Innovation. "These inventions must find their way from the lab to the economy so that everyone can reap the benefits of scientists' work. The spinoffs often are faced with a gap between a promising invention and finding capital to start up. Especially during these harsh financial times in which it became almost impossible for young and promising startups to find private financing, the government must stand ready to play its full part. "Therefore I provided 10 million euro to help our top research centres via SOFI and PMV in setting up new companies that will bring these inventions to the marketplace."
PMV is a Flemish investment company. It finances promising entrepreneurs from the very start through the growth and to the internationalization of their business. It also invests in large infrastructure projects. Its focus lies on the sustainable economic development of Flanders, with demonstrable added value for both economy and society (www.pmv.eu).
FIDIMEC NV is the investment vehicle of imec supporting the creation and growth of its spin-off companies. It is FIDIMEC's mission to enable the growth of the startup from the earliest phase on to become a successful company.
Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China, India and Japan. Its staff of about 1,900 people includes more than 500 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2010, imec's revenue (P&L) was 285 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at www.imec.be.
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut"), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shangai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited).