Artificial intelligence (AI) has become one of the key weapons in the fight against cancer and the many forms and mutations that it takes, and today we have a startup is coming out of stealth and announcing funding and a significant data deal as it seeks to build an AI system specifically to help understand one aspect of the treatment cycle: cancer pathology.
A startup New York-based company – Paige.AI, a health technology company revolutionizing clinical diagnosis and treatment in oncology that applies artificial intelligence to pathology for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Paige.AI has signed an exclusive license with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to gain access to its intellectual property in computational pathology and library of pathology slides, one of the world’s largest tumor pathology archives, recently announced it landed $25 million from a successful Series A funding round to build the leading offering in digital and computational pathology, led by Breyer Capital.
“Patients deserve and need an accurate diagnosis as quickly as possible, yet our current methods are time-consuming, expensive and subjective,” Dr. David Klimstra, cofounder of Paige.AI and chairman of the Department of Pathology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said in a statement. “The field is ripe for innovation and we are confident that Paige.AI will aid pathologists in detecting disease better and faster. With computational pathology, pathologists can redirect their efforts toward more sophisticated tasks, such as integrating histologic findings with other diagnostic analyses.”
The company said that currently pathologic diagnosis relies on a manual process where pathologists interpret glass slides using a microscope.
MEDICAL AI AT UNPRECEDENTED SCALE.
LEADING CANCER CENTERS SCAN UP TO 40K PATHOLOGY SLIDES EACH MONTH, AN ENORMOUS TREASURE OF TRAINING DATA FOR POWERFUL PREDICTIVE MODELS.
An example slide of a Breast Cancer specimen. The image is 2 Gigapixel in size. A patient can have dozens of scans and our large scale studies comprise thousands of patients per cancer. At original resolution, cell nuclei are visible, but the image is too large to be displayed on any computer screen. (Top and down pics)
This new method of computational pathology will incorporate digital pathology, which the company claims will help pathologist make decisions faster and more accurately and at a lower cost. Pagie.AI does this through the relying on a large set of data and reducible algorithms, and the MSK partnership will greatly expand this data set.
(Thomas Fuchs, Paige.AI co-founder and Chief Science Officer.jpg)
The co-founder who is now the CEO, Dr Thomas Fuchs, is known as the “father of computational pathology” and is the director of Computational Pathology in The Warren Alpert Center for Digital and Computational Pathology at Memorial Sloan Kettering, as well as a professor of machine learning at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.
The other co-founder is Dr David Klimstra, who is chairman of the department of pathology at MSK. The company’s chairman, Norman Selby, has been the chairman of two other medical information businesses, Real Endpoints and Physicians Interactive, in a long list of other roles.
Using AI to tackle the challenge of cancer — with all its millions of permutations and variations — is not new. As some examples, researchers have done work into using AI to detect colorectal cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer earlier.
Two primary goals at PAIGE.AI are:
- In the short-term, develop and deliver a series of AI disease modules that enable pathologists to improve the efficacy, quality, objectivity and efficiency of their work.This will enable them to provide better care, at lower cost – the goal all new medical technologies and innovations aim for, but rarely achieve.
- In the medium-long term, develop and introduce new treatment paradigms, that build on the promise of computational pathology, and integration of computational pathology with EHR, genomic and other data. For example, the critical Gleason score in prostate cancer was developed by pathologists over 50 years ago, is still used today to make critical medical decisions, but is highly subjective. We believe we can discover new paradigms to improve Gleason and other methodologies that will lead to vastly improved clinical care, and core IP for the company.
Paige.AI’s business and regulatory team brings a wealth of experience from the health-care sector and is preparing for the commercialization of their AI products.
Series A round will be used towards expanding the Memorial Sloan Kettering spinoff’s staff from 5 to 35 this year.
Next month, Paige.AI is moving into offices at Cornell Tech’s Tata Innovation Center in New York City, Fuchs said.
Join PAIGE in the heart of the most exciting city in the world. PAIGE’s offices are located on Roosevelt Island, next to the middle of Manhattan, so you can enjoy an unparalleled vibrant city life. They are hiring talented scientists, developers and engineers who are passionate about building an AI that will fundamentally change diagnostic medicine.
Top: View from PAIGE’s offices. Top and down: The office building.
Jim Breyer, Breyer Capital CEO, and Julian Robertson, who founded famed investment firm Tiger Management, led the round with other investors, according to Fuchs.
The company will be fully integrated into lab information systems by using the library to develop machine learning applications which is developing computational programs across diagnostic pathology and clinical annotations and anonymized genomic sequencing results such as starting with breast, prostate and other major cancers, according to a company press release.
At Memorial Sloan Kettering, Fuchs is director of Computational Pathology in The Warren Alpert Center for Digital and Computational Pathology. He is also a professor at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, where he teaches machine learning. Fuchs cofounded the company with Dr. David Klimstra, who is the chairman of the Department of Pathology at MSK.
Prior to Paige.AI, Fuchs worked on the Mars Rover project and autonomous space exploration at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He drew parallels between algorithms used to identify terrain on Mars differentiating cancerous from benign tissues on slides.
This is not the first startup to be spun out of MSK. Drug maker Juno Therapeutics is another; it is now getting acquired for $9 billion by Celgene.
Read more info via: Paige.Ai