Nucleai, which is developing an artificial intelligence system for computerized analysis of biopsies, has raised $5 million in a round led by Vertex Ventures and Grove Ventures, with participation by private investors Brian Cooper (founder of Retalix) and Nir Kalkstein (co-founder of Final and Medial Early Sign).
Nucleai was founded a year ago by Avi Veidman (now CEO) Eliron Amir (CTO), and Lotan Chorev (VP of R&D). The three served together in the IDF Intelligence Corps 9900 unit, which specializes in computerized vision.
Cancer diagnosis using biopsies is currently carried out by people trained to distinguish between cancerous and normal cells. Even if a small number of irregular cells is missed, this can lead to a fatal misdiagnosis. Moreover, there is a shortage of manpower in pathology.
Amir says that pathologists draw conclusions from verbal information (description of the patient's clinical state) and visual information (the sample), and that this is a special challenge for an AI system. The company has recruited several researchers and formed collaborations with hospitals and laboratories in order to obtain clinical data that will enable it to improve its algorithm.
"The use of artificial intelligence in pathology holds great potential, and enables us to achieve results that were impossible up to now. We presented our results to several pathologists, and their responses were enthusiastic," says Veidman.
The company is currently focusing on prostate, breast and gastrointestinal cancers.
Vertex managing partner Emanuel Timor said, "Nucleai will dramatically improve the accuracy and efficiency of pathologists."
Sigalit Klimovsky of Grove Ventures said, "The combination of analysis of visual information and biological and genetic information is likely to lead to a breakthrough in personalized medicine."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 6, 2018
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