Digital pathology company 3Scan has raised a $14 million Series B to flesh out its image processing and analysis software and to increase its presence in the drug discovery field.
Lux Capital and Data Collective led the round, with existing investor Dolby Family Ventures and new backers OS Fund, Comet Labs and Breakout Ventures participating. The company raised a $6.7 million Series A in January last year, which was also led by Lux.
3Scan’s mission is to automate and digitize anatomic pathology, which has historically been a manual process. Clients send tissue samples to 3Scan’s lab, where it is stained and embedded in resin or wax before being digitized by a Knife Edge Scanning Microscope, according to a statement. The microscope slices blocks of tissue, including whole organs, into thousands of sections and then digitizes them into corresponding images. It can handle up to 3,600 tissue slices per hour, according to the company. Once digitized, the tissue images may be used alone, or combined to form a 3-D image for quantitative analysis, the company said.
“3Scan’s automated histology platform fills the gap between radiology and pathology by allowing large-volume high-throughput imaging of tissue and tissue scale diseases,” said Megan Klimen, 3Scan COO and co-Founder. “This type of imaging technology is essential if ever want to be able to use the power of modern computing to improve pathology outcomes.”
In addition to improving clinical diagnostics, digitizing pathology also plays a role in preclinical drug development. Digitizing tissue will allow the use of machine learning to deliver more accurate results during preclinical trials and to answer anatomical questions that traditional methods fail to address, the company said.
Meanwhile, industry heavyweights are also vying for a piece of the pie. Back in March, GE Healthcare’s ($GE) joint venture, Omnyx, launched digital pathology software to help doctors diagnose cancer digitally. And in June, Philips ($PHG) snatched up Northern Ireland’s PathXL, which offers digital pathology workflow software to more than 40,000 users worldwide.
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