TWP. – The ultrasound-based breast imaging technology developer Delphinus

Medical Technologies Inc. says it has secured $39.5 million in new series C venture

capital round – what the company contends is the single largest amount ever

raised for a healthcare imaging company in the Midwest, as well as the largest

for a medical device company in Michigan.


oversubscribed financing round will be used to underwrite regulatory costs,

continuing the commercialization of SoftVue, Delphinus’ whole-breast ultrasound

system that allows doctors to image the entire breast, including the chest

wall, for diagnostic purposes.


has the potential to have a profound impact on the effectiveness of breast

cancer screening for a significant population of women who have dense breasts,” said John Neis, managing director at Venture Investors. “Data from their

innovative approach demonstrate the potential to detect cancers in women with

dense breast tissue that are missed by mammography, without the unacceptable

false positive rate that has plagued prior attempts using screening ultrasound.

They have assembled a world-class team, and we are proud to help pull together

this strong investor syndicate, giving them the resources to complete the

necessary clinical studies and bring this life-saving tool to the market.”


24 states have enacted legislation requiring that women who have dense breast

tissue receive notification of it in their mammography report. The legislation

covers nearly two-thirds of the women in the United States. Dense breast tissue

increases a woman’s chance of having breast cancer, yet presents a greater

challenge in detecting it with mammography alone. Supplemental breast imaging,

such as breast ultrasound, may benefit women with dense breast tissue.

As an

ultrasound technology, SoftVue offers the potential to not only assist

physicians in finding more cancers, but also to reduce the false positive rates

that have troubled other breast imaging techniques. SoftVue’s unparalleled,

sophisticated design incorporates a circular ultrasound transducer, unique to

medical imaging, presenting cross-sectional ultrasound slices through the

entire volume of breast tissue. The multi-dimensional imaging captures not only

reflected echoes in a 360-degree array, but also signals passing through the

breast, depicting tissue characterization.

“Our series

C financing demonstrates the confidence that sophisticated medical device

investors have in our SoftVue automated whole breast ultrasound technology, and

its potential to serve women with a transformational approach to breast

imaging,” said Mark J. Forchette, president and CEO of Delphinus. “This

syndicate of investors combines the robust strength of the Midwest venture

capital community with investors in Silicon Valley to provide diverse support

for our breakthrough system, which was invented right here in Michigan.”

The round

was led by the Milwaukee-based venture capital firm Venture Investors LLC, and

included new investment from Grand Rapids-based Hopen Life Science Ventures and

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Waycross Ventures, along with current investors

Arboretum Ventures of Ann Arbor, Beringea of Farmington Hills, and North Coast

Technology Investors of Ann Arbor.

Delphinus is

planning to launch a large multi-site clinical study to support a PMA

application for a supplemental screening indication for women with dense

breasts. Later this year, the company will begin by prospectively imaging

10,000 women with SoftVue in eight centers around the country. Using the

imaging, a reader study will then be conducted. The study will compare SoftVue

to digital mammography, and demonstrate its effectiveness in finding cancers

that are not seen with mammography, while reducing false positives, thereby

reducing the need for follow-up testing. False positives have gained recent

attention in other breast imaging technologies and have been implicated in

driving up healthcare costs, as well as patient anxiety.

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