By Wayne Forrest, AuntMinnie.com staff writer

May 8, 2013 -- The former preclinical division of Gamma Medica formally launched on Wednesday under the new banner of Trifoil Imaging, following its acquisition by investment firm Capital Resource Partners in March for $2.5 million.

Gamma Medica completed its Chapter 11 bankruptcy process in March with the separate sales of its molecular breast imaging (MBI) and preclinical imaging business segments to two buyers. The company's LumaGem MBI unit was sold to Imaging Acquisition, an entity controlled by healthcare growth equity firm Psilos Group Managers, for $3.1 million.

All in all, very little has changed as Gamma Medica's preclinical business transforms itself into Trifoil Imaging. Kevin Parnham, who headed the company's engineering department for approximately 12 years and served as general manager of the preclinical unit, is now president and CEO of Trifoil Imaging.

Trifoil's management team also remains in place, along with the rest of the company's service and applications personnel. The company has a total of 18 employees.

"This year I think we will hire five or six people more, focusing on service, application support, and rebuilding the sales force to make sure that we can serve the market and our customers," Parnham told AuntMinnie.com.

While Capital Resource Partners has yet to make any direct investments in the new entity, Parnham expects Trifoil to be "cash-flow positive this year," even allowing for the planned additions to the company's personnel.

"If you look at the finances of the preclinical imaging group, I think we were the only group in the old Gamma Medica that actually generated positive cash flow," he added. "So, we will build on that."

Trifoil also plans to advance the technology of its Triumph system, which combines PET (LabPET), SPECT (X-SPECT), and CT (X-O) into one trimodality device for small-animal imaging. Parnham estimated there are 45 to 50 Triumph systems installed worldwide.

Triumph from Trifoil Imaging
The Triumph preclinical PET/SPECT/CT trimodality system targets the biomedical research and drug development markets. Image courtesy of Trifoil.

The company will also market eXplore CT 120, a preclinical, in vivo microCT scanner designed for a variety of applications. It is the only CT system able to provide prospective, cardiac-gated preclinical imaging on small animals such as mice, according to the company. There are approximately 10 of these systems installed at facilities in the U.S., Canada, Germany, and France, Parnham estimated.

"Right now, our focus is on the LabPET side," he said. "We have an active collaboration with the University of Sherbrooke [Quebec, Canada] and are negotiating to continue as a new company. We anticipate that will lead to continued development and improvement in the PET side."

Trifoil Imaging also plans to carry on Gamma Medica's agreement to service preclinical imaging systems from GE Healthcare.

In all, Trifoil inherits approximately 300 in vivo molecular imaging systems worldwide.

The prime competitors for Trifoil in the preclinical market remain Siemens Healthcare, Mediso Medical Imaging Systems, and MILabs.

With the backing of Capital Resource Partners, Trifoil has "the opportunity now do something that, in my opinion, Gamma Medica was never able to do," Parnham said. "That is to focus tightly on the preclinical market. It allows us to spend our development dollars in a much more focused, controlled manner."

Based in Boston, Capital Resource Partners was founded in 1987 and specializes in combined debt and equity structures that provide financing alternatives for middle-market firms in various industries.

And, in case you're wondering, the name Trifoil Imaging comes from the international symbol for radiation. The trefoil (or trifoil) serves as a warning for people to be cautious in areas of radioactivity.

"I think it is a rather clever play on words," Parnham added. "We image ionizing radiation and the trifoil is the symbol."


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