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March 22, 2021

Bioscience companies deemed among most promising in world

Photo | Contributed Hyperfine’s portable MRI can be rolled up to a patient’s bedside and spit out a 3-D color image of a human brain within 10 minutes.

Two Greater New Haven bioscience companies have been named among the world’s 15 most promising medical technology startups by a trade publication widely followed in the industry.

Fierce MedTech has chosen both Branford-based Yale spinout IsoPlexis and Guilford-based portable MRI maker Hyperfine Research for its 2020 “Fierce 15.”

The two growing startups joined companies operating in some of the world’s biggest bioscience markets, including four in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay area. Others hailed from places like New York City; Cambridge, Mass.; Salt Lake City; St. Louis; and Austin, Texas.

The publication said it evaluates hundreds of private companies around the world in compiling the annual list, looking for “big, breakthrough ideas that can move the needle and make a significant impact on patients’ lives.” Factors considered include strength of technology, partnerships, venture backers and competitive market position. 

“Each member of this year’s class of Fierce 15 stands out in a different way, but they all overcame a year of unforgettable obstacles, making each of their successes that much more significant,” wrote Fierce MedTech Associate Editor Conor Hale in announcing the list. “And all have the potential to deliver changes in healthcare that promise to outlast this pandemic.”

IsoPlexis specializes in single-cell proteomics, developing products that allow researchers to analyze individual tumor cells and characterize them based on the proteins they secrete. The data can help doctors develop personalized treatments for cancer and other diseases and predict how patients will respond. 

It launched two new instruments, the IsoSpark and IsoSpark Duo, last November, adding to its original IsoLight system.

CEO Sean Mackay founded the company in 2013 while he was still a student at Yale and it now employs more than 200 globally. The company raised $85 million in equity funding plus a $50 million credit facility in its Series D round in January.

Hyperfine was founded in 2014 by prominent Guilford bioscience entrepreneur Jonathan Rothberg and launched its inexpensive, bedside MRI machine Swoop commercially last summer.

The machine is small enough to fit in an elevator, rolls up to a patient’s bedside, can be plugged into a standard wall outlet and is operated via an iPad.

The startup, based in Rothberg’s 4Catalyzer life sciences incubator in Guilford and New York City, raised $90 million in a Series D round in February. Among the investors was GV, formerly known as Google Ventures.

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