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Ascenion GmbH. (10/23/17). "Press Release: Ascenion’s Portfolio Company SurgVision Acquired by Bracco Imaging. Making Cancer Surgery more Precise". Munich.

Organisations Organisation Ascenion GmbH
  Group Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft (HGF) (Group)
  Organisation 2 SurgVision B.V.
  Group Bracco (Group)
Products Product fluorescence image guided surgery
  Product 2 IP services
Index term Index term SurgVision–Bracco: investment, 201710 acquisition of SurgVision BV by Bracco Imaging SpA
Persons Person Stein, Christian A. (Ascenion GmbH 200110)
  Person 2 Letzelter, Susanne (Helmholtz 201401 Corporate Developm + Communication at Ascenion GmbH)

SurgVision BV, a spin-off from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, has been acquired by Milano-based Bracco Imaging S.p.A., a global leader in diagnostic imaging. The take-over enables the company to expand its diagnostic portfolio into the field of fluorescence image-guided surgery helping surgeons to remove tumour tissue more precisely.

SurgVision’s unique imaging platform builds on the pioneering work of Prof. Dr Vasilis Ntziachristos and his colleagues at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. It combines targeted fluorescence labelling with innovative real-time visualisation techniques: before surgery, the patient’s tumour is specifically marked using intravenously administered, fluorescence-labelled antibodies directed against tumour markers. During surgery, a unique imaging system captures the fluorescence signals and transforms them into reliable live images that allow the surgeon to identify the tumour accurately and remove it more effectively than would otherwise be possible.

“This has significant benefits for patients: the technology can reduce the number of second surgeries and help save as much healthy tissue as possible,” comments Dr Christian Stein, CEO of Ascenion. The Helmholtz Zentrum München’s technology transfer partner supported SurgVisions foundation in 2013 and mediated an exclusive license to the technology for use in clinical surgery.

“The acquisition by Bracco Imaging is a great success”, Christian Stein continues. “It demonstrates how a brilliant academic approach combined with an excellent entrepreneurial team can be transformed into a clinically and commercially valuable asset. Together with Bracco Imaging, the team is perfectly positioned to fully exploit the technology’s potential to the benefit of patients.”

Ascenion’s proceeds from the sale of its equity position will flow to the LifeScience Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Research. The foundation will make the funds available for research projects of the endowing institutes, including the Helmholtz Zentrum München.


About Ascenion

Ascenion is an independent technology transfer company focussing on the life sciences. It is partner to 30 research organizations, universities and university hospitals in Germany and Europe, including life-science institutes of the Helmholtz and Leibniz Associations, the Hannover Medical School and the Charité. Ascenion’s multidisciplinary, industry-experienced team works closely with its partners to tap the potential of their research by identifying promising results, obtaining patent protection, and turning pure science into applied technology. Particular strengths are spin-off support and project development, where early-stage projects are transformed into assets that attract potential investors and licensees. This has led to the founding of numerous new companies and the transfer of innovative medical approaches into approved drugs, changing the lives of thousands of patients. Profits from Ascenion’s operative business and exit proceeds flow via its parent company, the LifeScience Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Research, to fund further translational research at its partner institutes.

Ascenion has also initiated the pan European showcasing event BioVaria to stimulate deal making and early collaboration between Europe’s academia and the global life-sciences industry.

Further information:


Dr Susanne Letzelter, Corporate Development, Ascenion GmbH
letzelter(at)ascenion(dot)de, +49 89 3188140

Record changed: 2017-11-03


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