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Who we are

Capella Imaging is a biogenerator company focused on the development of diagnostic imaging agents to support unmet medical needs. Our lead candidate is a fibrin-targeted diagnostic imaging agent for cardiac imaging. FibroScint  (Tc-99m F4A] is a fibrin-targeted, peptide compound labeled with the radioisotope technetium-99m (Tc-99m) for SPECT imaging. If successfully developed and approved, it may have potential applications across multiple cardiovascular conditions such as thrombus (blood clots) associated with left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and acute coronary syndrome. Initial clinical investigation of FibroScint will be an Phase 1 study for its potential use in identifying thrombus in patients with serious heart failure who use an LVAD.  It is anticipated that the first indication for FibroScint will receive an Orphan Drug designation.

Senior Management


James Blackledge, PhD,  Founder, President and CEO

Dr. Blackledge is an experienced analytical chemist with a background of over twenty years in pharmaceutical drug development. His specialty is biological mass spectroscopy, and his research interests include the development and implementation of mass spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques for the development of nanoparticulate drugs.  This area of research spans both large and small molecules, as the macromolecular structures involved are composed of a variety of different species. Prior to the founding of Capella Imaging, Jim worked in the Research & Development functions of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Parke-Davis, Kereos, Inc, and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.  Presently he also serves as Director of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry at Galera Therapeutics.



Gregory Lanza, MD/PhD, Founder and CSO

Dr. Lanza is a Professor of Medicine and a board-certified cardiologist, with adjunctive appointments in Biomedical Engineering and Biological Sciences. He holds the James R. Hornsby Family Professorship in Biomedical Sciences. He directs the Consortium for Translation Research in Advanced Imaging and Nanomedicine (C-TRAIN), which is a highly interdisciplinary research laboratory with an extensive clinical and preclinical imaging infrastructure. He is a member of the prestigious Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University in St. Louis and an established NIH principal investigator with over 270 peer-reviewed published manuscripts, 37 US issued patents, and well over 160 invited presentations since the turn of the century. After attaining a PhD from the University of Georgia in 1981, he joined Monsanto Company. He later attended Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and received an MD degree in 1992. There he began ultrasound contrast agent development as a pioneer of molecular imaging. 

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William McGhee, PhD, Founder and COO
Dr. McGhee's interests rest primarily in the development of novel pharmaceutical products. His academic training was in the area of physical organic chemistry with an emphasis in understanding reaction mechanisms. This has transformed into a career which has encompassed the development of chemicals/pharmaceuticals along with the processes needed to make these viable commercial product candidates. Process development has not been limited to novel chemical entities but also novel formulations. Much of the formulation work has centered on pharmaceutical nano- and micro- particle delivery. Understanding the processes involved in creating molecules and formulations has been and continues to be his passion. Bill has an extensive publication record, and over 27 issued patents.

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Grace Cui, MS, Founder

Grace holds MS degrees in both chemistry and radiopharmacy.  She is a staff scientist in the laboratory of Dr. Lanza, where she is responsible for the chemical synthesis of radiolabeling of a vast assortment of test items, including drug substances and drug products.  Grace has a deep background in the development and preparation of liposomal drug products.  She played a critical role in the discovery and development of FibroScint.

Medical Advisors


Barry A. Siegel, M.D. is currently Professor of Radiology and Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine and a member of the University’s Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center. Throughout his career, Dr Siegel has been active in nuclear medicine research, and has made contributions related to the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism, the detection of thrombosis, and oncological applications of radionuclide tracers. Dr. Siegel is active in government affairs, having served as a consultant and advisory committee chair for the Food and Drug Administration. He is also a past chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Advisory Committee on the Medical Use of Isotopes. His contributions have been recognized by several professional societies with the Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award for outstanding contributions to nuclear medicine from the Society of Nuclear Medicine in 2003; the Peter Valk Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Academy of Molecular Imaging in 2008; the Benedict Cassen Prize from the Education and Research Foundation for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging in 2014; the National Award of Nuclear Science & History from the National Atomic Museum Foundation in 2016; and the Gold Medal of the American College of Radiology in 2021.

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Sally Schwarz, RPh. MS is a Professor of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO.  She is a Board Certified Nuclear Pharmacist.  She served on the United States Pharmacopeia Expert Committee for 10 years, and was involved in writing the revised USP Chapter <823> which defined the US GMP PET production and quality control requirements for PET research radiopharmaceuticals. She is a member of the American Pharmacist Association (APhA), became a fellow in 2009, and received the APh William H. Briner Distinguished Achievement Award in 2016.  She served as the Nuclear Pharmacy advocate on the US NRC Advisory Committee for the Medical Use of Isotopes (ACMUI) for 6 years. She served on the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology for 6 years.  She is a member of the Society of Radiopharmacetical Sciences (SRS) and received the 2017 SRS Distinguished Service Award.  Sally has been a member of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging for over 30 years, is a Past President of SNMMI, and was the first pharmacist, and 4th woman of 65 SNMMI Presidents to hold this position.  She received the ACS Chemical Sciences and Technology Award in 2019. In 2022, SNMMI named an Award in her honor, the Sally Schwarz Award for her work in Radiopharmacy.

Gregory Ewald, M.D., is the Associate Chief for Clinical Affairs and a Professor of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division at the Washington University School of Medicine; St. Louis, MO. He is been active in the field of heart failure and heart transplantation for over 20 years.  The focus of his research efforts has included building a large academic heart failure program that includes mechanical support and cardiac transplantation, clinical investigation, and collaboration with physician scientists regarding the mechanisms of development of heart failure and novel therapies. 

 As PI or co-investigator on numerous NIH-funded and industry sponsored trials in patients with heart failure, he has been successful in recruiting patients for clinical trials of diagnostic modalities, drug treatment, and device use in patients with heart failure.  He is currently the  director of the Heart Failure and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at Washington University, which includes twelve clinical research nurse coordinators dedicated to screening, recruitment, and oversight of clinical trials in heart failure.  His current research interests include novel imaging modalities to detect VAD thrombosis, characterization of recovery of brain-dead cardiac donors, genetics causes of cardiomyopathies, and new therapeutic modalities for heart failure.

Thomas H. Schindler, M.D., is a nuclear radiology specialist who specializes in PET and SPECT in cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease, cardiac viability, myocarditis, vascular Inflammation, chest pain, microvascular angina,  heart failure, cardiac sarcoidosis, syndrome X, microvascular dysfunction.  Dr. Schindler received his Medical Degree in 1995 from the University of Leipzig in Germany. Thereafter, he completed his Pathology internship from St. Vincentius-Kliniken Hospital in Germany, followed by his residency in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at University Medical Center Freiburg. He subsequently completed a Cardiology fellowship at the University Hospital of Basel, as well as a Cardiovascular Imaging and Coronary Pathophysiology Post-Doctoral Research fellowship at UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Schindler remains a distinguished member of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the European Society of Cardiology, and the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. He is an established radiologist who has been practicing for over 30 years and is currently serving patients at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

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