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Avenda Health scores $10M to personalize prostate cancer care

The present normal of care for prostate cancer makes use of a one-size-fits-all method, dealing with the cancer like a whole-gland illness regardless that prostate cancer is extremely localized. That is the issue that Shyam Natarajan, co-founder and CEO of Avenda Health, needs to tackle

His method entails personalizing prostate cancer care with synthetic intelligence. Last week, Avenda obtained a $10 million increase.

Culver City, California-based Avenda, based in 2017 as a UCLA spinout, closed the Series B funding spherical, bringing its whole funding to date to greater than $19 million. VCapital led the spherical, which additionally had participation from Plug & Play Ventures and Wealthing VC Club.

One in 7 males are in danger for prostate cancer, up from 1 in 8 final 12 months, Natarajan mentioned. Despite the illness’s prevalence, urologists have seen no current developments in prostate cancer therapy, he mentioned. The present normal of care for prostate cancer therapy consists of surgical procedure and radiation, and in some circumstances, merely monitoring the cancer through annual biopsies to guarantee it doesn’t unfold aggressively. All these remedies injury important buildings that management sexual and urinary perform or require further remedy inside 5 years.

While diagnostic developments have given urologists a approach to find prostate cancer, these clinicians nonetheless lack perception into the true extent of the illness, Natarajan claimed. He mentioned Avenda’s mission is to personalize therapy to the affected person and their particular case to protect high quality of life and stop cancer recurrence. 

“We want to create a clearer path to personalization and precision targeting in prostate cancer care, improving the overall control of the tumors and quality of life regardless of how they respond to treatment,” Natarajan mentioned.

Avenda’s cloud-based platform, iQuest, makes use of a affected person’s personal diagnostic info, equivalent to imaging or a precision biopsy, to outline the extent of illness and create a cancer chance map with optimum therapy margins. The platform’s algorithms had been skilled on tons of of 1000’s of diagnostic affected person knowledge factors, together with MRI knowledge, pathology knowledge and different scientific info, Natarajan mentioned. He declared that Avenda carried out a number of validations on a unique dataset that the algorithm had by no means seen earlier than to account for any potential biases, and mentioned that the corporate will replace the algorithm at common intervals to account for any modifications noticed within the affected person inhabitants.

The firm additionally gives a focal laser ablation system referred to as FocalPoint, which is designed to deal with localized prostate cancer in urology places of work below native anesthesia as a substitute of below an MRI. The Food and Drug Administration granted the system clearance for gentle tissue ablation in 2020.

Earlier this month, Avenda received FDA investigational system exemption for the usage of FocalPoint and iQuest collectively. Basically, the clearance permits Avenda to mix the 2 applied sciences in a scientific trial to display that in conjunction, they do a greater job at treating prostate cancer than the usual of care.

“Urologists today have a number of different energy sources they can use within the prostate, but the challenge is in knowing who to treat, where to treat and how to identify success,” Natarajan mentioned. “More broadly, the standard of care today involves MRI and biopsy to diagnose a patient with prostate cancer, which does not reveal tumor extent reliably alone.”

Natarajan mentioned that Avenda’s means to present determination help in addition to personalization in focused remedy for prostate cancer alone makes it hyper-focused, differentiating it from different corporations providing oncology AI software program, equivalent to Click Therapeutics and Enlitic.

Photo: The National Cancer Institute

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