PathAI, a startup that employs machine learning techniques to improve diagnostic accuracy, today announced that it’s raised $60 million in series B funding led by growth equity firm General Atlantic, with General Catalyst participating. It brings its total venture capital raised to about $75 million, following an $11 million series A financing round, which CEO and cofounder Dr. Andy Beck said will be used to enhance PathAI’s existing offerings, drive improvement of its platform, and fuel research and development into new tools and devices.
“Our goal has been clear since day one – a relentless drive to ensure patients get the right diagnosis and the most effective treatment. We’re looking forward to working with our partners to scale this effective approach across disease areas and around the world,” Beck said. “The global network and deep expertise in technology and life sciences brought by General Atlantic, alongside the continued support of existing investors like General Catalyst, can only enhance our ability to effect change toward this major, impactful objective.”
Boston, Massachusetts-based PathAI, which was founded in 2015, supplies AI-powered research tools and services for digitizing and analyzing pathology images. With its solutions suite, along with its partnerships with leading diagnostic laboratories and pharmaceutical companies, it aims to support clinicians in bringing faster, more accurate, and more predictive diagnostics to patients. And it’s working to make safer and more affordable the sub-typing of diseases like breast cancer, which is the most common cancer in women worldwide with over 250,000 new cases diagnosed every year in the U.S.
PathAI has a staff of 60 (up from 25 in the past year), and recently secured certifications in quality management and information systems. Active collaborators include such organizations as Philips, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and past investors include Refactor Capital, Eight Partners, Pillar, Danhua Capital, and KdT Ventures.
“PathAI’s work could radically improve the accuracy and reproducibility of disease diagnosis and support the development of new medicines to treat those diseases,” said General Catalyst cofounder David Fialkow. “The positive — and global — impact of getting this right cannot be overstated. We think this is the team that has all the potential to bring these game-changing solutions to market.”
PathAI is vying for a slice of the anticipated $35 billion health care cloud computing market against startups like Deep Lens, which recently raised $14 million for its AI precision medicine software suite, and Inspirata and Proscia, both of which develop products that automate pathology workflows. But it benefits from Beck’s high profile — in 2015, he and colleagues at Harvard Medical School and MIT won a global challenge on the detection of metastatic lesions in lymph nodes with a performance that rivals human error rates consistently.
“Digitizing images in pathology has the potential to transform the field by unlocking new opportunities in image recognition,” said Philips digital pathology solutions general manager Russ Granzow. “With computational pathology and the application of artificial intelligence there is an opportunity to increase efficiencies, enable greater accuracy and precision, and allow pathologists to see things and access insights not previously available.”