On Friday, New York-based startup Renalytix AI, maker of a clinical diagnostic that uses artificial intelligence to diagnose for kidney disease, landed $29 million in funding. This news coincides with Renalytix AI’s announcement that it will now be publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.
Looking ahed, the company said the new money will be used to help it develop two products designed for early kidney disease detection and transplant management, including organ rejection. The first of its diagnostic tests, called KidneyIntelIX, is slated for a 2019 launch date. However, it still needs to go through FDA regulatory review.
KidneyIntellX was was born out of a partnership between the startup and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai that was announced last May. As part of the deal Mount Sinai is also one of the shareholders in the company. The deal also let the company access Mount Sinai’s data warehouse, which has over three million patient records and 43,000 patient records in the BioMe BioBank repository.
Why it matters
The National Institutes of Health reports that more than 661,000 Americans have kidney failure and 193,000 have undergone a kidney transplant.
"Kidney disease is a major challenge for healthcare systems around the globe," Dr. Barbara Murphy, dean for Clinical Integration and Population Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, as well as a member a of the RenalytixAI's scientific advisory board, said in a statement. "We're responding to this critical unmet need by developing two products that will identify patients at risk for kidney disease progression and dialysis, and categorize the type of risk that will be experienced by kidney transplant patients.”
What's the trend
The uses for AI have been growing and growing, but diagnostics is an area that has had seen a lot of interest. The field has also seen its share of funding — with medical imaging in particular seeing a lot of action. In October Visla Labs, an AI-powered medical imaging diagnostic startup, landed $3 million in seed funding. But they aren’t alone — Israel-based Zebra Medical Vision, for instance, brought in $30 million in June, while another Israel-based startup AiDoc received $7 million last year.
But that isn’t the only use for AI in diagnostics. In September IDX, maker of autonomous AI diagnostic tool for diabetic retinopathy, landed $33 million in Series A funding.
On the record
"We're pleased to be collaborating with RenalytixAI, an emerging industry leader in healthcare AI, on the development of breakthrough prognostics and diagnostics for renal disease," Erik Lium, executive vice president of Mount Sinai Innovation Partners, said in a statement. "Renal disease represents an increasing healthcare crisis globally, and early detection and intervention can change the course of this disease."
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