Breast Biopsy Plays Bring In VC Dollars

For private companies working in the minimally invasive breast biopsy space, there are three basic rules for success. First, they need an FDA-approved system that can extract relatively large volumes of intact tissue specimens. Second, product lines should be robust enough to justify a large sales force. Finally, the companies should be flush with venture capital.

In most cases, the third part of this winning equation has been the easiest. All but one of the seven private companies in the minimally invasive breast biopsy space have raised venture capital, for a total take of $132.79 million. This includes recent fourth-round deals for both Natick, Mass.-based Neothermia Corp. and Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based SenoRx Inc.

Why so much investor interest in this emerging market? Because it combines two of the niches that life sciences-focused VCs find particularly appealing: oncology and minimally invasive alternatives to surgery.

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