Deep Lens Closes $14 Million Series a Financing to Further Advance Digital AI Pathology Platform for Clinical Trial Recruitment
Deep Lens, Inc., an AI-driven digital pathology company focused on clinical trial recruitment at the time of diagnosis, announced the company has closed a $14 million Series A financing, led by Northpond Ventures. Existing investors Rev1 Ventures, Sierra Ventures, and Tamarind-Hill Partners also participated in this round, which comes just three months after Deep Lens closed its VC-led seed equity round. Funding to date now totals $17.5 million.
“Northpond is excited to support Deep Lens. The VIPER platform and its unique distribution is a novel approach to the problem of patient recruitment in clinical trials”
Deep Lens will use the funding proceeds to further expand its artificial intelligence (AI) and platform product development activities and scale its service, sales, and marketing organizations to support current and anticipated demand and growth for its disruptive approach to clinical trial recruitment.
“Since our inception, we’ve benefitted from a tremendous group of investors, which now includes the world class team at Northpond Ventures,” said Deep Lens co-founder and CEO Dave Billiter. “This Series A financing is further validation of the value of our industry-changing approach to digital pathology in delivering the right cancer diagnoses faster and accelerating oncology trial recruitment and timelines.”
The company’s flagship technology, called VIPER (Virtual Imaging for Pathology Education and Research), was originally developed for research purposes in Columbus, Ohio where it was the de-facto platform for global oncology studies including The Cancer Genome Atlas Project (TCGA) and others, before being commercialized by Deep Lens. VIPER combines artificial intelligence (AI) with advanced pathology workflows while also facilitating peer-to-peer collaboration and patient identification for clinical trials. The ultimate aim is to provide users with fast and accurate information, along with expert consultation, for better patient care and advanced clinical research.
“In the past year we have successfully launched our industry leading platform, VIPER, to the pathology industry at-large, we have integrated deep learning (AI) and we have made VIPER available free-of-charge to pathology groups worldwide as we work to identify patients at the time of diagnosis for available clinical trials,” said TJ Bowen, Ph.D., co-founder and chief scientist.
Simon Arkell, president and co-founder added, “With this additional capital, we will move to quickly leverage our successes in the pathology industry and apply a highly disruptive approach to patient identification in clinical trials, one of the most expensive and time intensive issues faced by the pharmaceutical industry.”
Patient recruitment for clinical trials remains a time-intensive, costly barrier to the execution of drug development programs. More than 14,000 oncology clinical trials are actively recruiting patients1, yet estimates put the rate of participation as low as three percent of potential trial candidates.2 Deep Lens’ VIPER platform enables the pathologist in clinical trial recruitment. By identifying eligible patients at the time of their diagnosis, much sooner than current methods, VIPER can help fast-track trial enrollment and potentially shorten the duration of the trial.
“Northpond is excited to support Deep Lens. The VIPER platform and its unique distribution is a novel approach to the problem of patient recruitment in clinical trials,” said Michael P. Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., founder and CEO at Northpond. “We are proud to begin working with the current investors to help Deep Lens accomplish their clinical and commercial goals.”