PETsys – Medical PET Imaging Systems, S.A

PETsys Systems SA, a Medical Device Company for cancer’s early detection, was incorporated in 2008. PEM R&D Consortium and PETsys Systems have been able to capture much of the applicable public funding from R&D and Business Development programs in a total of 6M€. This financial position has been able to provide the necessary funding for development of PET scanner prototypes, financing clinical trials, supporting business development activities including market research and fundraising.

PETsys Systems SA Shareholders are 5 institutions (FFCUL/IBEB, LIP, INEGI, INESC INOV and INESC-ID), 14 individual PEM project collaborators and a business angel.

In 2013 PETsys Systems SA setup PETsys Electronics SA to focus on PET detector modules and related electronics.

Portugal Ventures


Portugal Ventures is a Venture Capital and Private Equity firm, focusing its investments in innovative, scientific and technology-based companies as well as in companies from the more traditional Portuguese Tourism and Industrial sectors, with significant competitive advantages and export oriented to global markets. We partner with exceptional entrepreneurs, assisting them in achieving new levels of competitiveness and success at all stages of development of their companies and operating in a number of different sectors.

Portugal Ventures works alongside entrepreneurs, enabling high-growth Portuguese companies to achieve global status.

Individual Shareholders

João Varela, Manuel Rolo, Ricardo Bugalho, Stefaan Tavernier and Vasco Varela


Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is the medical imaging technique of reference in cancer detection and management. PET is one of the fastest growing sectors in medicine due to its potential in contributing to a more personalized medicine approach. The total number of whole body PET systems sold per year is expected to reach 1000 in 2015, and the total molecular imaging market (PET & SPECT) is expected to reach over $6 billion by the same year. We believe the potential for growth beyond 2015 is still considerable because PET will start being widely used in newly developed countries.

The rapid growth of the number of PET scanners has been driven, among other things, by the rapid improvement in the scanner technology. Today we are on the verge of a new breakthrough in PET scanner technology since we can envisage replacing bulky photomultipliers by SiPM (silicon photomultiplier), which was recently developed and is now commercially avaliable.

SiPM’s are cheaper and perform better than the photomultipliers used nowadays by commercial PET scanners. The main advantages of the SiPM are lower cost, compactness, and better time resolution. The latest allows building PET scanners where the same image quality can be obtained in a shorter time or with a lower radiation dose to the patient when compared to current PET systems. There is therefore little doubt that in a few years all new PET scanners will be based on the use of SiPMs rather than on the use of photomultiplier tubes.

PETsys is exploiting its technological advantage in the area of PET detector modules using SiPMs as photodetectors. Our expertise relies in the development of detector modules for PET scanners. This expertise encompasses advanced readout electronics, photosensors, scintillator materials and the combining of both in high performance readout units.

We are focused on the production and sale of PET electronics and detector modules. This is an area where we have unique expertise and where we can be a world leader.


The clients of PET detector modules are research institutes, manufacturers of small and medium animal PET equipment, manufacturers of organ specific PET scanners and manufacturers of PET whole body scanners.

Small Animal PET Scanners:

The market for SA in the coming years is estimated at 100 machines per year.

Medium Animal Scanners:

Medium animal PET is a new market with potential for growth. Biomedical research tends to require tests of processes and drugs in medium animals, biologically closer to humans than mice, as a necessary intermediate step in the transfer to clinical application.

Brain Scanners:

PET is increasingly used in clinic for brain scans. In some hospitals the number of brain scans occupies by itself one PET scanner. In these cases, it may prove to be cost effective to acquire a dedicated brain scanner at lower cost than a whole body PET scanner.

Dedicated breast scanners:

Breast cancer can be detected and monitored using whole body PET scanners. However, dedicated breast scanners where the detectors are placed close to the breast, allow significantly better spatial resolution and sensitivity, and are less expensive. Considering the prevalence of the disease, we believe this will become an important market in the future.

Whole Body PET Scanners:

The whole body PET scanners represent a very large market (~ 1000 scanners per year).