UT Startup Pathcore Receives Funding From the National Cancer Institute
A University of Toronto-based startup recently secured $4 million in funding from the National Cancer Institute. The startup, Pathcore, was developed with the purpose of making the process of reading potentially cancerous tissue samples both faster and more accurate.

Pathcore’s team is comprised of seven members: Michael Mai, Craig Madho, Anne Martel, Stephane Langevin, Deyu Wang, Sean Nichols, and Dan Hosseinzadeh. According to Hosseinzadeh, the company’s CEO and co-founder, “We free pathologists from counting cells, searching for those hard-to-find areas through a microscope, and doing other repetitive tasks that software can do faster and better. Ultimately, that means improved patient care.”

An Extremely Valuable Technology

Pathcore’s technology has already received worldwide acclaim, but the most recent attention has come from the U.S. government’s principal agency for cancer research and training, the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The institute will include Pathcore’s technology in their platform for cancer informatics, which incorporates aspects of information science, computer science and healthcare to advance cancer prevention and treatment solutions.

The NCI will provide $4 million in funding to a development project that will include six leading cancer centres across the United States and Canada. The funding will allow Pathcore’s team to expand the translation and validation of automated cancer diagnostics into applicable tools that can be used in a clinical setting.

Already, there are more than 100 institutions across more than 22 countries making use of Pathcore’s feee downloadable diagnostic software. The NCI funding is only expected to increase the availability and accuracy of this software, named the Sedeen Viewer.

In effect, the technology gives cancer researchers the ability to view, annotate, and overlay images in order to facilitate ease of data collection and analysis. The viewer also offers researchers a variety of built-in analysis tools and allows for the creation of new and unique algorithms designed to aid in the detection of cancerous tissues.

Sharing is Caring

While information sharing in the healthcare industry can be a hot-button topic, as it pertains to doctor-patient confidentiality, digital technologies allow for location independent consultations and, in many cases, can lead to better solutions in patient care.

In conjunction with the Sedeen Viewer, Pathcore Web is a cloud-based application that provides pathologists with access to case data anytime, and from anywhere, so that the most urgent cases receive the attention they deserve. The app works on both desktop and mobile devices.

According to Hosseinzadeh, “With a digital platform for viewing tissue slides, pathologists can review cases within their team or consult with other institutions quickly and effectively so that the best people can always be involved.”

With its origins based firmly in the renowned research network at U of T, Pathcore has provided successful evidence of how cutting-edge research, when applied correctly, can translate to real, innovative solutions.

According to Karen Sievewright, Managing Director of the Banting & Best Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, “Pathcore is a great example of how scientific research can be commercialized and applied to a platform that benefits healthcare practitioners, and in turn patients, around the world.”

Fortunately, Pathcore has a vital ally in their mission to disperse their technology. “The NIH rarely allow funding to go to non-US labs,” says Anne Martel, Pathcore’s co-founder and associate professor at U of T, “even more unusual is for them to fund work done by a foreign company, so this is a testament to the unique strengths of the Pathcore platform.”

“We know the product works,” says Hosseinzadeh, “Now we want to get it into more institutions worldwide.”

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Posted by: DSR
Monday, May 2, 2016
Tag: Healthcare
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