Digital pathology company raises $8.3M to expand AI platforms

Digital pathology company Proscia raised $8.3 million in a Series A financing round to expand its artificial intelligence (AI) platforms for cancer diagnosis.

The company announced the close of its Series A financing in a press release late in September. Despite pathology being a major part of cancer diagnosis, many pathologists ability to diagnose the disease still relies on using microscopes, the company said. It also said microscopes can be limited, contribute to diagnostic error and result in negative patient outcomes.

The funding comes at a time when AI imaging, in particular, is gaining attention for its potential to improve cancer diagnoses. 

“Pathology has been historically underserved by technology, and we believe that powerful software tools will push the boundaries of how modern pathology is practiced,” Proscia Chief Executive Officer David West said in a statement. “That’s why this funding is so important.”

The funding was led by Boston-based Flybridge Capital Partners, joined by Emerald Development Managers, Fusion Fund, Razor's Edge Ventures, RobinHood Ventures and SoGal Ventures. 

The funding will be used to expand the deployment of its digital pathology software and use of its AI platforms, with an ultimate goal of increasing accuracy and efficiency in cancer diagnosis. The company will also ramp up its sales and marketing of its existing cloud-based digital pathology platform, which serves as the foundation for its AI-based applications. 

“Proscia represents a paradigm shift, using the image analysis capabilities of machines to augment human evaluations for better, more reliable diagnosis,” the release stated. “Facing intense economic pressure, a shrinking workforce, and a surge in the global demand for pathology, laboratory medicine is primed for a shift to digital and AI-driven methods.”

Proscia's digital platform is already used by more than 300 clinical and research facilities worldwide. The first AI-enabled, disease-specific modules on the robust platform, the first of which is DermAI, will be released December 2018.

Under terms of the funding, Chip Hazard and Tom Loftus, chief technologist at Razor's Edge Ventures, joined Proscia's board of directors, according to the announcement.