May 26, 2022


Skillful Business Crafters

Larry Ellison leads $21.5 million Series A in cancer treatment startup Imagene AI

Imagene AI, which develops AI-based precision medicine for cancer, announced on Monday that it raised $21.5 million, comprising $3 million in Seed funding led by Blumberg Capital and an $18.5 million Series A round led by renowned technology-driven cancer medicine investors Larry Ellison, Dr. David Agus, and AI imaging space pioneer Eyal Gura.

Using only a digitized biopsy image, Imagene’s AI diagnostic technology delivers real-time molecular analysis, increasing the level of accuracy and reducing the time required for results, from several weeks to just two minutes. Imagene also drives a new approach for a wider scope of treatment response-prediction that encapsulates the uniqueness of each patient, bringing cancer care closer to reaching the full potential of precision medicine.

Imagene CEO and co-founder Dean Bitan told Calcalist that the connection with Ellison was made through leading researcher Dr. Agus. “We understood that the only way to deal with cancer is through precision medicine,” said Bitan. “Our technology allows the doctor to receive information on a biopsy within a short time and at a low cost.”

Ellison, co-founder and chief technology officer of Oracle Corp., and Dr. Agus founded the Institute for Transformative Medicine in 2016 with the mission to spark innovation, leverage technology, and drive interdisciplinary, patient-centered research.

Imagene’s technology classifies patterns that cannot be seen by the human eye, evolving genomics, proteomics, and spatial insights to better understand the recurrence of specific cancers and their resistance mechanisms; this enables better stratification of patients in clinical trials and the discovery of novel targets for new drugs.

“I experienced the pain of cancer patients when I supported my mother through several years of cancer treatments,” added Bitan. “Imagene’s story is the combination of minds from several sectors who have undertaken a joint mission to make precision medicine more accessible and viable for cancer patients.”

“Though cancer is a complex disease we might never fully understand, AI is bringing us closer to considering all relevant parameters that affect it, allowing a move towards theragnostics – a personal treatment strategy that combines therapeutics with diagnostics,” said Dr. Agus, one of the world’s leading physicians and the co-founder of several pioneering precision medicine companies. “Imagene’s technology can unlock precise and crucial information in real-time, changing the way cancer is diagnosed and treated.”

Imagene AI was founded in 2020 by Dean Bitan, Jonathan Zalach, and Shahar Porat. Its molecular and micro-environment intelligence platform delivers real-time biomarker reports using only digitized biopsy images, leading to faster diagnosis and better identification of treatment for patients. Its multidisciplinary team is composed of a diverse group of experts from the fields of science, clinical, and deep learning. Imagene collaborates with top-tier medical centers and pharmaceutical companies worldwide, making therapeutic decisions for cancer more accurate and accessible, profiling patients for clinical trials, and accelerating the drug development process.