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Cancer AI Startup Nucleai Raises $6.5M in Series A Financing

NEW YORK – Nucleai, a startup maker of a technology platform for precision oncology research and clinical decision support, said Tuesday that it has raised $6.5 million in the initial stage of a Series A funding round.

Swiss biopharmaceutical company Debiopharm led the investment, with participation from Vertex Ventures and Grove Ventures. As part of this investment, Debiopharm will collaborate with Nucleai on efforts to accelerate the discovery of biomarkers for oncology drug response.

Nucleai, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, relies on artificial intelligence to analyze large datasets of tissue images to model spatial characteristics of tumors and each patient's immune system to help predict patient response to various cancer therapies. The technology combines "computer vision" and machine learning, the company said.

"The battle between the tumor and the immune cells is clearly visible by inspecting the pathology slide, just like a satellite image of a battlefield. Our AI platform analyzes the hundreds of thousands of cells in a slide, examines the interplay between the tumor and the immune system and matches the right patient to the right drug based on these characteristics," Nucleai CEO Avi Veidman said in a statement.

"Our team is thrilled to embark on this adventure to develop and further understand the extent to which AI can help pathologists and oncologists become more precise in both diagnosis and prediction," added Tanja Dowe, CEO of the Debiopharm Innovation Fund. "We recognize the huge impact that Nucleai's AI-powered platform could have on clinical research for pharmaceutical treatments."

Nucleai closed a $5 million seed round in 2018.