AI-powered virtual staining demonstrates potential to revolutionize histopathology, simplify lab workflows, and accelerate drug discovery
Financing co-led by M Ventures, SCC Soft Computer and Koç Holding
Founded on technology from UCLA's Ozcan Research Group, proprietary platform provides sustainable alternative to standard chemical staining practices
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- PictorLabs, Inc., a digital pathology company developing an AI-powered virtual staining platform to revolutionize histopathology and accelerate clinical research with the goal of improving patient outcomes, today announced its launch with the completion of a $15.2 million financing round led by M Ventures, SCC Soft Computer, and Koç Holding. Since its founding in 2019, PictorLabs has raised $18.8 million to commercialize virtual staining and reimagine the future of histopathology. Pioneered by co-founders Aydogan Ozcan, Ph.D., UCLA Chancellor's Professor, and Yair Rivenson, Ph.D., PictorLabs Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer, the company's technology applies deep learning algorithms to efficiently and accurately stain tissues in silico, producing near-instantaneous virtual stains. From a single unstained tissue sample, PictorLabs' proprietary platform can produce an unlimited number of virtual stains that are indistinguishable from analogous chemical stains.
Current histopathology practices have remained largely unchanged for decades and involve complex chemical-based tissue staining processes with many challenges including prolonged time to results, tissue sample limitations, inconsistent quality of results, and chemical waste generation which can complicate and delay research and patient diagnoses. PictorLabs' novel approach enables the production of unlimited virtual stains from a single unstained tissue sample – eliminating the need for chemical staining, reducing the time to results, and allowing for repeated biomarker testing without the need for multiple tissue samples.
"PictorLabs' platform overcomes inherent issues in histopathology through the application of AI-powered algorithms that produce virtual stains which are indistinguishable from their chemistry-based counterparts. By virtually staining tissue images in the digital realm, our approach simplifies and accelerates workflows, speeding up drug discovery and diagnostic decision-making with the goal of ultimately improving patient outcomes. With the support of our experienced investors, we're now well placed to systematically expand our platform" said Dr. Rivenson.
To date, PictorLabs has demonstrated successful virtual staining for several well-validated disease biomarkers and is pursuing additional opportunities in disease areas with high unmet need. PictorLabs will use this latest round of funding to expand its biomarker portfolio, develop novel products, grow the company's talent base, and build out its corporate infrastructure.
"At M Ventures, we are excited by the results demonstrated by PictorLabs' virtual staining technology, confirming the broad research potential of its best-in-class platform. We are excited to support PictorLabs in transforming the practice of histopathology while seamlessly integrating within the existing healthcare paradigm, to better support the needs of researchers, clinicians, and importantly patients" said Dr. Bauke Anninga, Principal, M Ventures.
"We're excited to see PictorLabs advance this next-generation virtual staining technology," said Melih Poyraz, Koç Holding's Strategy and Business Development Director. "With the leadership of their talented team of seasoned engineers, physicians, scientists, and entrepreneurs, who hold an extensive track record of success in bringing medical technologies to market, we look forward to seeing PictorLabs further develop their novel technology to elevate and accelerate the histopathology workflow."
Recently, PictorLabs established a partnership with Charles River Laboratories as part of their sustainability initiatives to reduce water consumption and chemical waste through the adoption of PictorLabs' virtual staining technology – demonstrating the rigor of PictorLabs' technology in a highly productive research setting.
PictorLabs is a digital pathology company advancing AI-powered virtual staining technology to revolutionize histopathology and accelerate clinical research with the goal of improving patient outcomes. Led by a team with deep expertise in bioengineering, artificial intelligence, and health-tech product development, the Company is reimagining existing histopathology workflows, accelerating clinical and diagnostic results, and improving process sustainability. From a single unstained tissue sample, PictorLabs' proprietary platform can produce an unlimited number of virtual stains that are indistinguishable from analogous chemical stains. PictorLabs is developing products that replicate standard of care stains and is creating specialized virtual biomarker stains for indications in which there is a large demand for novel and accelerated diagnostic tests. To learn more, visit https://pictorlabs.ai/ and follow PictorLabs on LinkedIn.
About M Ventures
M Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. From its headquarters in the Netherlands and offices in Germany, USA and Israel, M Ventures invests globally in transformational ideas driven by innovative entrepreneurs. Taking an active role in its portfolio companies, M Ventures teams up with management teams and co-investors to translate scientific discoveries into commercial success. M Ventures focuses on identifying and financing novel solutions to some of the most difficult challenges, through company creation and equity investments in fields that will impact the vitality and sustainability of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany 's current and future businesses.
About SCC Soft Computer
At the forefront of laboratory, genetics, outreach, and blood services information systems software development, since 1979, SCC Soft Computer has designed, developed, delivered, supported, and implemented full suites of powerful integrated laboratory and genetics information management system solutions for hospitals, large integrated delivery networks, and laboratories. To learn more, visit http://www.softcomputer.com/.
About Koç Holding
Koç Holding is Turkey's leading investment holding company and the Koç Group is Turkey's largest industrial and services group in terms of revenues, exports, number of employees, taxes paid and market capitalization on Borsa Istanbul. Being the only Turkish company to be ranked in the Fortune Global 500 List and in Forbes' World's Best Employers List, Koç Holding has leading positions with strong competitive advantages in the energy, automotive, consumer durables and finance industry sectors.
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SOURCE PictorLabs, Inc.