Israeli artificial intelligence company Imagene AI, which has a focus on precision medicine in cancer care, announced today it has secured $21.5 million that includes $3 million in seed funding led by Blumberg Capital and an $18.5 million Series A round led by technology-driven cancer medicine investors Larry Ellison, Dr. David Agus, and AI imaging space pioneer Eyal Gura.
Imagene’s technology uses digital pathology images and its proprietary algorithms to identify and classify patterns not discernible by human examination to develop genomic, proteomic and spatial insights of cancer and further the understanding of cancer recurrences and cancer treatment resistance. These new insights can aid in therapeutic development and in recruiting new patients for clinical trials.
“Though cancer is a complex disease we might never fully understand, AI is bringing us closer to considering all relevant parameters that affect it, allowing a move towards theragnostics—a personal treatment strategy that combines therapeutics with diagnostics,” said Agus, one of the world’s leading physicians and the co-founder of several pioneering precision medicine companies. “Imagene’s technology can unlock precise and crucial information in real time, changing the way cancer is diagnosed and treated.”
Agus, professor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, is the founding director and chief of the Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine, which collaborates across the health and wellness fields, as well as other disciplines such as physics, biology, math, and engineering to study cancer and potential ways to prevent, detect, and treat the disease.
According to Imagene AI, the company’s biomarker detection platform stands to significantly shorten the detection of cancer-related biomarkers from 14 days—the time it can take to run genomic testing and return results—to as little two minutes once a biopsy has been collected and digitized. The company’s technology is able to identify a wide range of cancer biomarkers from a digitized pathology slide and provide faster diagnoses to get patients on targeted therapies sooner.
“Precision medicine is transforming cancer care, yet, still relevant and available to less than 15 percent of cancer patients,” said Dean Bitan, Imagene co-founder and CEO in a press release. “Our scalable technology strives to enable treatment opportunities for all cancer patients, driving precision medicine to be tailored per individual patient condition.”
Yodfat Buchris, managing director, Blumberg Capital, added: “The ongoing digitization of healthcare will reward medical providers, payers, and patients with new ways of leveraging data to improve diagnoses, treatments and outcomes by improving accuracy, streamlining processes and reducing costs. Our team is proud to be part of Imagene’s mission to leverage AI in the fight against cancer.”