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Nucleai, Jefferson Health Partner to Discover Biomarkers of Immunotherapy Response

NEW YORK – Artificial intelligence company Nucleai and Jefferson Health on Tuesday announced a collaboration to discover histological biomarkers that predict response to immunotherapy.

Tel Aviv-based Nucleai will use its ATOM platform to analyze tissue and cell architecture in pathology images and apply machine-learning algorithms to model the tumor and the immune system's spatial characteristics. Using this approach, Nucleai hopes to identify histological biomarkers that can assess whether cancer patients are likely to respond to immunotherapy.

Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health will evaluate the predictive biomarkers identified by Nucleai in the clinic and evaluate the ATOM platform's ability to identify best responders to immunotherapy.

"It is now clear that analysis of digital pathology through computational approaches opens access to 'hidden' information that is beyond the resolution of a pathologist's examination through a microscope," Stephen Peiper, chair of the department of pathology, anatomy and cell biology at Thomas Jefferson University, the academic arm of Jefferson Health, said in a statement. "We look forward to working with Nucleai to 'unlock' such information to learn new disease mechanisms and using it to help our patients."

Nucleai also partnered with drugmakers that are using Nucleai's ATOM platform to discover spatial biomarkers, develop pathology-based companion diagnostics, and identify strategies to improve patient outcomes. This year, Nucleai inked a biomarker discovery partnership with Merck KGaA to identify biomarkers for several of Merck's cancer drugs. The company is also working with Swiss cancer drug developer Debiopharm to identify biomarkers of response for its cancer therapy candidates.

Nucleai launched in 2018 and raised $6.5 million in a Series A funding round last year.