Using AI to aid in cancer diagnosis, Proscia raises $37 million

Steven Loeb · June 14, 2022 · Short URL:

Proscia's solution is currently being used 10 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies

The number of people who have cancer around the world is expected to reach 28.4 million cases in 2040, a 47% rise from 2020. At the same time, from 2007 to 2017, the number of pathologists in the United States declined 17.53%. That means there are going to be people who will have cancer, and fewer people who will be able to diagnose it.

That's why there's a rising need to digitize pathology and companies like Proscia, which uses computing, visualization, and machine learning in order to aid pathologists, allowing them to more rapidly and accurately diagnose cancer and other diseases.

Proscia's platform, called Concentriq, allows diagnostic laboratories and life sciences companies to ingest, view, manage, and analyze images of tissue biopsies to power their data-driven pathology practice. For example, one of its applications is DermAI, an AI application designed to help pathologists improve speed and confidence in the diagnosis of skin disease, such as melanoma.

"We’re the only company driving pathology’s complete modernization across life sciences organizations and diagnostic laboratories. This means that we’re not only helping scientists and pathologists in their day-to-day work but also uniquely situated to fulfill the promise of precision medicine," David West, co-founder and CEO of Proscia, told VatorNews. 

On Tuesday, the company announced a $37 million round of funding from Highline Capital Management, Triangle Peak Partners, and Alpha Intelligence Capital, along with existing investors Scale Venture Partners, Hitachi Ventures, ROBO Global, Emerald Development Managers, and Razor's Edge Ventures. This is Procia's first funding since it raised a $23 million round in late 2020, and the new investment brings its total funding to $72 million.

Since it's last funding round, the company has launched new products, including Automated QC, an automated quality control application that leverages AI to improve quality and efficiency in data-driven drug development, which was released earlier this year.

Proscia's solution is currently being used 10 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies, as well as the Joint Pathology Center, along with reference laboratories and health systems, including LabPON.

"Pathology’s digital transformation is helping life sciences organizations and diagnostic laboratories to overcome a range of systemic challenges intensified by the rising cancer burden. It’s also opening up new opportunities to improve research and patient care by going beyond what the human eye can see through a microscope," West said.

"In shifting the standard from microscope to digital image, AI-enabled pathology is driving powerful productivity and efficiency gains. It’s also unlocking new insights that can accelerate breakthroughs and optimize diagnoses to ultimately improve patient outcomes."

The company says it will use the new funding to accelerate adoption of its technology, and to scale its commercial operations, which will includes expanding its sales, marketing, and support teams; Proscia grew its team over 2x in the past 18 months to just over 100 employees, and it plans to add 40 over the next six months.

It will also be looking to grow distribution partnerships, following its recent agreement with Siemens Healthineers, while also focusing on its regulatory strategy; Concentriq was recently certified under the new In Vitro Diagnostic Regulation for use in primary diagnosis. 

Finally, Proscia will also invest in broadening its portfolio of computational solutions, while introducing more third-party applications onto Concentriq. 

"One of our customers put it well when saying that AI is poised to make the biggest impact on pathology since the introduction of the light microscope over a century ago. Computational pathology holds the power to unlock new insights that accelerate breakthroughs and improve diagnosis. Among its many other opportunities, it can also speed up tedious, manual tasks," said West.

"To best enable our customers to tap into pathology’s data-driven era, we are committed to offering the broadest variety of AI applications on our Concentriq platform."

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