Histopathology innovator raises $32m in funding round, looks to accelerate cancer research and drug discovery

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/MaXPdia
© GettyImages/MaXPdia

Related tags: Histopathology, Cancer, Drug discovery

HistoWiz, a US-based digital histopathology service company, recently announced the closing of a $32m Series A financing round.

The funding was led by Vivo Capital and included other investors: venBio, Asahi Kasei and Jon Oringer.

HistoWiz, with offices in New York and Miami, targets customers in academia and industry. It has been working with the likes of GSK and Regeneron as well as many “hot biotechs”​ in San Francisco and Boston.

Through automation and AI, it is aiming to become the global leader in histopathology to accelerate cancer research and drug discovery. 

“Our mission is to help researchers find cures by accelerating histopathology and enabling global collaboration.

“The Series A financing will allow HistoWiz to expand our services, build a flagship lab with the latest tissue-sectioning and embedding robots, grow our team to better serve clients, and continue to innovate in this field,”​ said Dr Ke Cheng, founder and CEO of HistoWiz.

Automation 

HistoWiz automates histopathology with rapid turnaround time for researchers in academia, biotech and pharma. The company processes tissue specimens and digitizes the results, hosting client’s data on a proprietary platform, PathologyMap.​ This online platform contains the largest collection of preclinical pathology data crowdsourced from the scientific community and the first network of top pathologists for on-demand diagnosis, said the developer.

Dr Cheng told BioPharma-Reporter: “99% of histopathology is never used or shared. Traditional imaging is of a snapshot of a tissue and traditional storage is on a glass slide aging away in the drawers of pathologists or on the shelves of labs and hospitals. HistoWiz has revolutionized the usage of this tissue by scanning, digitizing, and storing images on our platform. 

“We have the largest database of pathology data, hosting over 200,000 slide images with long term storage. We provide on-demand diagnosis through our telepathology network staffed by board certified pathologists and led by Julie Feldstein, MD.

“Our platform allows clients to view their data on mobile or the web without having to spend time downloading large files. Clients can invite their team members to view the same data at the same time, wherever they are.

“We also equip our platform with pathologists and have built an auto quality control tool, slide annotations and we are building out other AI tools and image analysis tools online."

New lab

The company is looking to establish a GLP histopathology lab in Miami.

“We aim to fully automate the process with a series of automated instruments and highly skilled technicians. Our Miami lab will even be equipped with embedding and cutting robots from Japan.

“And we will be able to scan 4,000 slides per day once our Miami lab is built," ​said the CEO.

Investor view

Histopathology capabilities are essential to most innovative biopharma companies, said Aaron Royston, managing partner at venBio. “We believe HistoWiz provides the highest quality, most efficient and most comprehensive service offering to biotech companies, including multiple companies within our portfolio.”

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