Press release: Kheiron Announces Series A fundraiser
Kheiron raises $22 Million Series A led by Atomico, to bring the benefits of its breast cancer detection AI software to women worldwide
Kheiron Medical Technologies Ltd, London
London, England (Sept 23rd, 2019) - Kheiron Medical Technologies, an applied science company focused on supporting cancer diagnostics with machine learning, has closed a $22 million Series A round led by Atomico with participation from Connect Ventures, Greycroft, Hoxton Ventures and EXOR Seeds. As part of this investment, Atomico Principal Irina Haivas will join the board.
Kheiron Medical’s first product Mia™ has been developed to improve the outcomes for the more than two million women diagnosed globally every year with breast cancer. Reliable early detection can mean the difference between life and death for these women but it is very resource intensive to build and maintain high-performance breast screening programmes under increasing quality expectation pressures. Kheiron intends to use the new investment to further scale the clinical validation of Mia™, including conducting a series of large-scale clinical trials and roll-outs in Europe, the United States and Asia to rigorously assess and demonstrate the clinical effectiveness and safety of the software.
“The foundation of Kheiron’s approach to rigorous development and testing is to ensure reliably improved patient outcomes and safety by helping doctors in their daily practice,” said Kheiron CEO, Dr. Peter Kecskemethy. “In my childhood I spent many hours in my mother’s radiology department watching her carefully read and report imaging studies and struggling with workloads and working conditions. I know first-hand the stress, inefficiencies and extreme pressures that she and other radiologists face every day, and the uncertainty, especially the worry, when deciding if a patient’s image suggests cancer or not.”
Diagnosing cancer, especially at an early stage, is an extremely challenging and time-consuming task, even for the most experienced radiologists. A massive shortage of radiologists in many countries, coupled with an ever rising demand for imaging is putting even greater pressure on the doctors who are responsible for making critical decisions about patient care.
Mia™ is designed to analyse standard Full Field Digital mammography (FFDM) images in a breast cancer screening setting, and to assist radiologists in making a vital clinical decision: to recall a woman for further evaluation or not. The software has demonstrated state-of-the-art performance in a multi-centre clinical study and was voted Best New Radiology Software 2019 by leading radiology publisher AuntMinnie. Mia™ first deployments for live testing and further trials are affiliated with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and leading academic medical centers in the US.
Mia™ has been developed by Kheiron’s world-class team of machine learning specialists, radiologists and imaging industry experts with backgrounds at leading institutions such as Imperial College, The Royal Marsden, University College London, Edinburgh, Oxford, GE and Philips.
“Clinical rigor is at the heart of everything we do. It is one thing to create an algorithm, and entirely different to make it useful in clinical practice when patient lives are at stake,” says Kheiron CTO and Co-Founder Tobias Rijken. “The key to helping radiologists diagnose breast cancer more accurately for the benefit of women everywhere was finding investors who understood how to safely validate and scale products for global impact. The team at Atomico has a wealth of experience doing this at companies such as Skype, Uber, Spotify and Virgin and we could not be more pleased to be working with them on this important problem.”
“Cancer care today is defined by fear and uncertainty but we believe we are on the cusp of a new age when AI-supported approaches to diagnostics will enable earlier and more accurate detection, tracking, and as a result better treatment outcomes,” said Irina Haivas, Atomico. “We invested in Kheiron because we believe they have one of the best machine learning teams in the world but also because they have such a deep understanding of radiology and the clinical validation required in order to usher in this new era of cancer diagnosis and care.”
Atomico partners with ambitious tech founders at Series A and beyond with a particular focus on Europe, leveraging deep operational experience to supercharge their growth. Founded in 2006, Atomico has partnered with over 100 ambitious teams - including those at Supercell, Graphcore, Omio, Klarna, Lilium, MessageBird, and The Climate Corporation, and worked with numerous firms in the healthcare sector including accuRx, Hinge Health, and ZocDoc. Atomico's team of investors and advisors includes founders of four billion dollar companies, and operational leaders who were responsible for global expansion, hiring and marketing at companies from Skype and Google to Uber and Spotify.