With an eye on the oncology space, Israeli startup Medial EarlySign has inked a deal with pharma giant Roche Diagnostics International to commercialize an artificial intelligence tool that helps detect cancer early. As part of the collaboration agreement, the pair will develop, clinically validate and then commercialize the product.
Initially the companies will focus on the gastric cancer space. The clinical decision support tool will use EarlySign’s software that incorporates lab results, EHR data and other clinical care.
WHY IT MATTERS
According to the American Cancer Society, stomach cancer accounts for roughly 1.5% of all new cancers diagnosed in the U.S. In fact, in 2021 the society estimates that there are 25,560 new cases of gastric cancer, and 11,180 deaths associated with the condition.
The companies are pitching this new deal as a way to help catch gastric cancer early. The pair note that the condition often develops slowly and goes undetected for some time.
“Our next steps are to help bring new diagnostics methodologies to the global market through better management and utilization of vast amounts of data in ways that were previously unimaginable,” Ori Geva, CEO and cofounder of EarlySign, said in a statement.
“By coupling our proven machine learning infrastructure and data science expertise with the global leadership of Roche, we are looking forward to bringing forth a new class of predictive tools to make a significant contribution to improve human health.”
THE LARGER TREND
This isn’t the first partnership for Medial EarlySign. In March, the company signed a deal with Datos Health in order to offer an integrated platform that pinpoints high-risk patients who could benefit from remote care.
Medial EarlySign has a history of working in the oncology space. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology CCI found the company’s AI tool flagged 8% of patients in a large trial group that were later diagnosed with cancer or precancerous lesions.
Roche Diagnostics has also been interested in the digital health space for some time. In 2020, the company teamed up with investment firm aMoon to launch an early-stage investment program dubbed StarFinder Lab that is focused on novel diagnostic technologies, and AI data analysis and digital health in particular.