About MedTrace

MedTrace is dedicated to becoming a global leader in perfusion imaging. Our products are designed to help patients be diagnosed quickly and accurately.

Our goal is to innovate PET diagnostic imaging by transforming blood flow quantification. We will do this by making 15O-water PET practically available in clinical settings.

Based in Denmark, Sweden, and the US, we are a team of diverse ages, cultures, and professional backgrounds.

Our company is collaborating with university hospitals in Europe, Japan, and the USA to develop and test our products. This is part of preparing our solution for regulatory approval in various regions of the world.

How we got started

Our co-founder Rune Wiik Kristensen wondered why 15O-water, the gold standard for perfusion imaging, was not in routine clinical use. Rune, who had worked as a radiochemist in two of Denmark’s top hospitals, also wondered why cardiac PET (position emission tomography) wasn´t on the radar of most clinicians in the field, given the great success of oncological PET.

He learned that 15O-water was impractical in a clinical setting because it had such a short half-life, rendering the supply chain near impossible to scale up. Yet he also deduced that the short half-life, if controlled, would provide for reduced patient dosage and shorter scan times, increasing the feasibility of cardiac PET.

Rune decided to try to invent a device that would allow 15O-water to be produced right next to a PET scanner in a hospital, overcoming the short half-life and making 15O-water practically available.

Sketched on a dinner napkin

About this time, Rune met MedTrace’s other co-founder, Martin Stenfeldt. Martin was an independent executive consultant who helped companies draw up and develop their business plans.

Martin became enthusiastic about the potential for 15O-water in a clinical setting. The two had lunch together in a restaurant in Vejle, Denmark, and sketched out the idea for MedTrace on a dinner napkin.

Peter Larsen, an experienced inventor of chemistry devices, was approached to help create the physical device that would manufacture and infuse 15O-water next to the patient in a PET scanner, and thus became the third co-founder.

The new company was born, and officially registered in January 2015. The result was MedTrace’s P3 system, now installed at several hospitals. More than 1,000 patients have been scanned clinically with the help of the P3 system.

Creating software for 15O-water diagnosis

Meanwhile, Mark Lubberink, a Dutch physicist, was working with his PhD student Hans Harms to create analytical software that would analyze 15O-water PET images. Mark relocated to Uppsala University Hospital (Sweden) where he met Professor Jens Soerensen, a Dane working in Uppsala. Professor Soerensen helped Hans find funding to work further on the project in Aarhus, Denmark, where he met Lars Poulsen Tolbod, a hospital physicist.

Together, they created the novel analysis software that became aQuant, which delivers a variety of clear images of the area scanned while it quantifies blood flow to allow for accurate diagnosis.

Meetup and merger

The two groups met by coincidence at an industry conference in San Diego and realized that their products complimented each other perfectly. After feedback from multiple potential investors, the decision was made to merge the two companies under the common name MedTrace Pharma in August 2018, although aQuant remains the brand name of the software.

Since then, the company has continued to grow, and is now considered a development stage company with beginning revenue.

Recent traction

In December 2020, Aarhus University Hospital received a magistral exemption for clinical use of MedTrace’s P3 system as well as the required medical device exemptions related to the P3 system. Since then, the Danish Medicines Agency has granted exemption for any kind of clinical perfusion studies using the P3 system and the aQuant analytical software.

At the Series B financing round in May 2021, MedTrace attracted a strong syndication of investors in the form of ATP, BankInvest and Vækstfonden from Denmark, Swisscanto Private Equity from Switzerland and the European Innovation Council. In September 2021, MedTrace was granted US patent 16349.238 for its system for modelling the human heart.

MedTrace will move in 2022 to larger premises in Hørsholm near Copenhagen that will include a showroom and shop featuring MedTrace hardware and software. In addition, MedTrace will start building its US operations in 2022 out of Medical Alley near Minneapolis, MN.