University of Minnesota-spinoff Orasi Medical Inc. raised $1.8 million from the sale of equity, according to a Securities & Exchange Commission filing.
Overall, the software startup hopes to raise $2.6 million by December.
CEO Shawn Lyndon declined to comment, citing SEC rules that prohibit public comments on fundraising activities.
The company, which generates less than $1 million a year in revenue, is developing software designed to help pharmaceuticals makers speed the development of drugs targeting neurological diseases, like Alzheimer’s.
Orasi has developed technology that can help drug makers determine if their therapies are working by comparing brain scans of patients with neurological diseases to its image database of people with normal brain activity.
Orasi owns the largest commercial database of magnetoencephalography scans, according to the company, and it is the only provider of MEG biomarkers — the genetic clues scientists use to identify diseases. Drug companies can use the database to determine whether or not to pursue a therapy rather than spend billions of dollars on a drug that has a high likelihood of failure.
Orasi recently signed licensing deals with Swiss pharma giant Novartis AG and Danish drugmaker H. Lundbeck A/S. The startup also won a $245,000 grant from the federal Qualified Therapeutic Discovery program.
Orasi considers Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Inc., which makes molecular imaging agents for diagnosing and monitoring diseases like Alzheimer’s, one of its closest competitors. Last week, Eli Lilly & Co. said it will pay up to $800 million to acquire Avid, including a $300 million upfront payment and $500 million milestone payments.