PathAI scores $11M to ramp up deep-learning tech, grow team

PathAI's software is not yet available for clinical use, but the Cambridge, MA-based startup has partnered with Philips and Bristol-Myers Squibb on diagnostics and drug discovery respectively.

PathAI, which teamed up with Philips on cancer diagnostics in March, has bagged $11 million in series A financing. The startup will use the funds to build out its team and develop its artificial intelligence-based technology.

General Catalyst Partners led the round, while Pillar Companies, Refactor Capital, 8VC, Danhua Capital, and KdT Ventures also participated, Xconomy reported.

PathAI is developing deep-learning algorithms for the detection and diagnosis of disease. It aims to help pathologists, who analyze tissue and fluid samples in the lab to diagnose disease, perform their job more accurately and efficiently.

“We see a big opportunity to solve a really major and longstanding problem, which is accurately diagnosing diseases and using that information to more effectively guide treatments for patients,” said CEO Andy Beck, Xconomy reported.

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Philips and PathAI joined forces to apply deep learning to “massive” pathology datasets to improve diagnostic and treatment decisions. Their first focus is breast cancer—they will create deep-learning tools to automatically spot lesions in breast cancer tissue.

The duo hopes to ease the growing burden on pathologists, who have historically analyzed tumor samples manually. And they’re not the only ones—digital pathology startup 3Scan reeled in $14 million last year to further develop its image processing and analysis software, which would digitize pathology for clinical diagnostics and drug discovery.

PathAI has also partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb, which is using its tech to review pathology samples and analyze patient response to drugs in clinical trials, Xconomy said.