Medtech Startup Echolight Raises €4M in Series A Funding

Milan, Italy - July 21th, 2016

Echolight: from the South of Italy the first investment of Panakes Partners and the fifth investment of Invitalia Ventures.
A 4M € Series A round in Echolight, the startup that revolutionize the diagnosis of osteoporosis

Panakès and Invitalia Ventures have co-led an investment round of 4 €/ML in Echolight, an innovative SME operating in the “medtech” sector, that has been established in 2010 as a Spin-off of the CNR of Lecce

Echolight has developed EchoS, the first non-invasive technology for early diagnosis of osteoporosis disease. This technology may exceed the existing gold standard, currently represented by the X-Ray diagnosis. The EchoS device has been patented at national and international level and received the ISO and EC mark certification.

EchoS offers different advantages since it is capable to combine the advantages of the two current main technologies, DXA and QUS: it is radiation free, it can assess the bone quality, it is low cost and it does not require any certified operator and axial sites (spine and hip) assessment. It also offers an extremely user-friendly software that allows doctors to conduct diagnosis in a few minutes and improve clinical assessments.

The founding team of Echolight, which is composed of Sergio Casciaro, Matteo Pernisa, Stefano Pernisa, Ernesto Casciaro and Francesco Conversano has an extensive experience in the ultrasound bone densitometry.

Previously Echolight has already received a Seed investment from Life Sciences Capital S.p.A, a venture capital investment vehicle established in 2005 with the aim to invest in the Italian health sector with a focus on the medical technologies.

“The new funds available will allow the diffusion of our technology and the establishment of EchoS as a new reference for people affected by the osteoporosis disease, who will have an easy access to the diagnosis, now available also at primary care, and to the treatment of this “silent” disease that remains hugely under-diagnosed. We will support in this way the prevention and reduction of the invalidating bone fracture events, with significant cost savings for the health care system and important improvements in the care delivery and patient quality of life” enthusiastically commented the president and co-founder of Echolight, Sergio Casciaro.

Fabrizio Landi, founder and General Partner at Panakes, declared: “Echolight has developed a next generation ultrasound echo-based bone densitometer that makes early detection and more accurate monitoring of osteoporosis, directly on the more important points, spine and hip. The non-invasiveness may be the key advantage to spread the diagnostics earlier, as it was the case for echography in the past as a replacement of x-ray in other applications.”

“We are proud to invest in Echolight together with Panakès, because it is a startup of unquestionable value. The technology for the diagnosis of osteoporosis - the disease that affects more than 300 million of people worldwide – will have a huge impact through its accessibility, disease prevention and earlier diagnosis, with the reduction of the waiting list (that today can be up to 1,5 year in Italy) and a cost reduction to around two third.

These advantages will then offer a strong contribution to the healthcare system sustainability” stated Salvo Mizzi, CEO Invitalia Ventures.

About Echolight
Echolight is a high-tech research biomed company, incorporated in Italy, for the development of innovative technologies in the medical diagnostics arena. Our mission is to provide the world medical community with the very first comprehensive non-invasive and office-based solution for the early diagnosis of osteoporosis. Echolight will make the early detection of Osteoporosis more accurate and easily accessible to meet both clinician’s and patient’s needs everywhere. Echolight is in compliance with the standard: UNI CEI EN ISO 13485:2012; ISO 13485:2003; CE Mark medical Device Class IIa.

About Panakès Partners
Panakès Partners invests is a Venture Capital investor that finances medical companies, early stage startup and SMEs, with extremely promising products and great ambition, in Europe and Israel, improving both patient outcomes and healthcare economics. Investments focus on the medical device, diagnostics and healthcare IT fields. Panakès Partners is headquartered in Milan, Italy.

About Invitalia Ventures
Invitalia Ventures manages Italia Venture I Fund with the aim to bring support to the Italian Venture Industry. The co-investment strategy of the Fund is focused on round A investments in the best Italian innovative Startups/SMEs together with national and international private investors.