Bruker Corp., a US-based marketer of analytical and diagnostic instruments for life science and biomedicine, announced in early November that it had signed a definitive agreement to purchase 100% of the shares of Canada–US-based Neurescense Inc., a developer and provider of optical functional neuroimaging systems. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
In a press release accompanying the announcement, Neurescence CEO and co-founder Yasaman Soudagar predicted that the acquisition would “greatly increase the worldwide reach” of Neurescence’s technology “to enable researchers to gain deeper knowledge of neural-network functions.”
Imaging multiple brain regions at once
Soudagar—one of the early-stage-company founders highlighted in OPN’s October 2021 “Entrepreneurs to Watch” feature—started Neurescence to take advantage of an opportunity she perceived to create optical systems that could simultaneously image neuronal activity multiple brain areas. Such multi-region functional imaging is an emerging need for understanding and, potentially, developing therapies for complex neurological diseases.
The Chromatone system—described as the company’s flagship product—includes a system of fiber-connected “illumination cubes,” imaging fibers and GRIN-lens-equipped connectors that enable light of different colors to be independently controlled and sent to up to four different brain regions. The system thus can support simultaneous stimulation and imaging of up to three different neuronal types in the four regions.
The Chromatone architecture, which moves light creation and control off of the lab animal’s head and instead leverages a lightweight fiber connection, provides, according to Soudagar, “a viable means of performing multi-region-of-interest investigation with minimal weight impact to subject animals.”
The president of Bruker’s NANO Group, Mark Munch, said in a press release that the Neurescence purchase—coupled with Bruker’s acquisition a few days earlier of Inscopix Inc., another company developing microscope technology for freely moving lab animals—“bolsters Bruker’s position as the leading provider of freely behaving animal imaging and photostimulation.” The company sees “strong synergies” between the Neurescence offering and the newly acquired head-mounted “miniscopes” of Inscopix, as well as with Bruker’s own existing Ultima line of multiphoton microscopes.
Bruker, which trades on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker symbol BRKR, also reported financial results at the beginning of November. For the first nine months of calendar 2022, the company logged a 5.1% year-to-year revenue increase, to US$1.82 billion, with a roughly similar percentage increase in operating income, to US$301.7 million for the period.