Los Angeles Business Journal

Biotech Start-up ImaginAb Raises Nearly $13 Million

By Deborah Crowe Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ImaginAb, a UCLA spinout that is developing new ways to determine the best cancer treatment for a patient, announced that it has raised $12.5 million in a Series A round.

The Los Angeles company said late Monday that the financing was led by Novartis Venture Funds. Merieux Development, Nextech Invest, Cycad Group and Momentum Biosciences also were investors. Novartis and Merieux now will join ImaginAb’s board.

ImaginAb’s technology currently is focused on finding better ways to detect metastatic prostate and pancreatic cancer using a method of diagnostic imaging called positron emission tomography, or PET. The company has more than a dozen development programs with biopharma companies to develop imaging agents to help doctors determine whether a particular antibody drug is more likely to work for a patient.

The company was founded in 2007 by UCLA faculty members Robert Reiter, Anna Wu and Christian Behrenbruch.

The money will “enable us to accelerate the clinical development of our cancer and immunology imaging programs," said Behrenbruch, who serves as chief executive.