Nucleai Secured $6.5M Series-A Initial Closing Led by Debiopharm To Advance AI-Powered Precision Oncology Platform
CEO Insights team, Nikhil Michael, Correspondent, CEO Insights
In recent years, cancer immunotherapies have revolutionized cancer treatment, providing long term benefits to certain patient populations. However, the efficacy of these treatments is often observed in only a small subset of patients. Without an adequate way to predict drug response, patients risk receiving ineffective treatment accompanied by unnecessary payor coverage. In light of the high percentage of clinical trial failure, this lack of predictive precision can also have a heavy impact on pharmaceutical companies conducting costly clinical research. Nucleai's core technology analyzes large and unique datasets of tissue images using computer vision and machine learning methods to model the spatial characteristics of both the tumor and the patient's immune system, creating unique signatures that are predictive of patient response. In a recent work performed in collaboration with leading researchers and published at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2020 conference, Nucleai has demonstrated the predictive power of tumor microenvironment AI-based spatial analysis for breast cancer.
Through this investment, Debiopharm and Nucleai will collaborate in order to leverage Debiopharm's 40 years of pharmaceutical expertise towards an acceleration of predictive biomarker discovery for drug response and the improvement of data from clinical trials involving cancer patients. The company intends to use the funds to further progress the development of its advanced platform for use in Immuno-oncology and other diseases. The funds will be used also to further progress its commercial reach to pharmaceutical and biotech companies.
"We are excited to have Debiopharm's corporate VC as our lead investor along with our longterm partner investors Vertex Ventures and Grove Ventures. Debiopharm is bringing decades of pharmaceutical expertise which will assist in accelerating our development and market reach," explained Avi Veidman, Nucleai's CEO.
Our team is thrilled to embark on this adventure to develop and further understand the extent to which AI can help pathologists and oncologists become more precise in both diagnosis and prediction
"Nucleai has multiple revenue-generating, commercial partnerships, with leading Immunotherapies pharma companies and US-based payors. We plan to use these funds to expand our offering to additional indications and diseases as well as to increase our commercial footprint substantially."
Founded in Israel, a growing hotspot for computational biology innovation, Nucleai was founded by former members of an elite technological unit of Israeli intelligence corps specializing in artificial intelligence and big data: Avi Veidman (CEO), Eliron Amir (COO), and Lotan Chorev (VP R&D). This Tel Aviv hub positions the start-up to leverage a wealth of valuable resources including a centralized medical system, 25 years of EMR data, and top AI talents.
"Our team is thrilled to embark on this adventure to develop and further understand the extent to which AI can help pathologists and oncologists become more precise in both diagnosis and prediction," explained Tanja Dowe, CEO of Debiopharm Innovation Fund. "We recognize the huge impact that Nucleai's AI-powered platform, could have on clinical research for pharmaceutical treatments."
Avi Veidman, Nucleai's CEO added, "The battle between the tumor and the immune cells is clearly visible by inspecting the pathology slide, just like a satellite image of a battlefield. Our AI platform analyzes the hundreds of thousands of cells in a slide, examines the interplay between the tumor and the immune system and matches the right patient to the right drug based on these characteristics".
"Our solution is purely based on software which is embedded into the biomarker researcher workflow. This allows us to scale our solution rapidly, to provide service to a large number of pharmaceutical and biotech partners as well as to patients," expressed Eliron Amir, COO of Nucleai. "It is an elegant solution to a complex problem. There is no need for an expensive wet-lab biology operation. Our cloud-based solution allows us to gather huge amounts of immuno-oncology data from different sources, creating complex insights that a single pharma or institute cannot generate by itself."