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SONUS PHARMACEUTICALS INC. RECEIVES $3 MILLION IN FIRST ROUND OF VENTURE CAPITAL FINANCING; RELOCATES TO NEW FACILITIES IN COSTA MESA

 COSTA MESA, Calif., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Sonus Pharmaceuticals Inc., founded by Steven C. Quay, M.D., Ph.D., to commercialize novel diagnostic pharmaceuticals involving ultrasound, has announced completion of its first round of venture capital financing, the acquisition of a capital equipment lease, and relocation to new offices and laboratory facilities in Costa Mesa. The products include proprietary ultrasound contrast agents for cardiology, radiology, gynecology, and neuroradiology.
 Quay said Sonus has received $3 million in initial funding from an investment group consisting of Aperature Associates, Crosspoint Venture Partners, Enterprise Partners, and Utah Ventures. In addition, the company has secured a capital equipment lease line of $650,000 from Phoenix Leasing Inc., San Rafael, Calif.
 Proceeds from these financings will be used to build an office and laboratory, including imaging center, and to initiate research and development activities with new contrast agents for ultrasound imaging. The new agents have broad potential applications in echocardiology, general radiology, gynecology and neuroradiology.
 "Currently, there are no ultrasound contrast agents approved for clinical use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) despite the fact that there are 23 million ultrasound procedures performed annually in the United States," said Quay. "One agent is under review by the FDA for use in echocardiology and could be available in 1993. The combined potential domestic market for contrast agents for echocardiology and general radiology in the mid-1990s is over $500 million per year, based on estimates by market analysts."
 Sonus is entering the third year of its research on diagnostic ultrasound agents and believes a strong proprietary position has been developed for its technology.
 Sonus is Quay's second corporate venture in diagnostic contrast agents. In 1984, he founded Salutar Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif., to develop contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The company was acquired by Hafslund Nycomed, a Norwegian pharmaceutical company that is the world leader in the pharmaceutical contrast agent field, in 1989 for $55 million. The FDA recently joined Great Britain in approving Salutar's first drug, Omniscan, as the world's first non-ionic, MRI contrast agent. Quay is the sole inventor and patent holder for Omniscan. The agent will be marketed in the United States by Sanofi Winthrop.
 Quay is founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Sonus. He was awarded the Dean's Research Award upon graduation from the University of Michigan Medical School and also received a Ph.D. in biological chemistry from the same institution. He did post-graduate research in the chemistry department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the Nobel Laureate, H. Gobind Khorana, and residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. From 1980 to 1986, he was a faculty member at Stanford University School of Medicine. He holds 22 issued U.S. patents for diagnostic contrast agents for use with x-ray, MRI, and nuclear medicine and has authored or co-authored more than 100 papers in radiology, oncology, and biochemistry. He founded Sonus in 1991.
 Sonus currently has 13 full-time employees, with six holding advanced degrees, at its 6,080-square-foot headquarters at 3505 Cadillac Ave., Suite F-7, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Its previous offices were in Los Angeles. The pharmaceutical company is actively recruiting additional scientists in basic research, analytical chemistry, toxicology and pharmacology, and a management team with expertise in regulatory affairs, drug development, manufacturing, finance, and marketing.
 -0- 2/17/93
 /CONTACT: Tom Gable or Julie Smutko of The Gable Group, 619-234-1300, for Sonus Pharmaceuticals/


CO: Sonus Pharmaceuticals ST: California IN: MTC SU:

MS-LS -- SD001 -- 7159 02/17/93 09:01 EST
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Date:Feb 17, 1993
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