Medical-imaging startup NVision says its quantum tech is a big step forward for catching cancerous tumors. Check out the 18-slide deck used to raise a $17 million grant.
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- Ulm-based NVision uses quantum tech to enable MRI scanners to analyse tumors at tissue level.
- The startup has partnered with Siemens to use its medical-imaging technology for cancer treatments.
- It secured a $17 million grant from the German government using this 18-slide pitch deck.
A medical-imaging startup that has developed a way for MRIs to provide more detailed imagings of tumors has secured $17 million in government funding, as it partners with German tech giant Siemens.
Ulm-based NVision, which launched in 2015, has designed a way to apply quantum technology to MRIs — medical-imaging scanners used by radiologists to detect tumors as well as conduct tissue, organ, and skeletal checks — that enables them to examine tumors at a metabolic level.
Metabolic changes in a tumor happen before anatomical changes, which occur on a cell level. Currently, MRI scanners can only conduct imaging at an anatomical level.
“We know that with cancer, tumors have different metabolisms, and this is how they keep themselves alive,” said CEO Sella Brosh. “For the first time, we have the ability to measure the metabolism of a tumor.”
The idea is to help physicians with the earlier detection of pre-cancerous lesions before they start forming the tumor, allowing them to decipher how aggressive it is, and enable them to evaluate the efficacy of a treatment much quicker — which tumors start responding initially to on a metabolic level.
NVision’s technology, which can be integrated with existing MRI scanners, is ready to be used clinically, and the startup is currently running trials on animals. It has found that it can reduce the feedback cycle for cancer treatments in animals from months to just seven days, by using its quantum-enhanced agents.
It aims to initially roll out its products to hospitals that are based in rural areas, which have little access to MRI technology, starting with Alabama in the US. It has also received signed letters of intent for the use of its technology from the likes of ETH Zurich, UCL, and the University of Cambridge, and has an existing partnership with the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre.
Given the “limited amount of innovation in MRI” currently, Brosh told Insider that NVision’s partnership with Siemens Healthineers — the largest MRI manufacturers in the world — was a mutually beneficial commitment for both companies.
“Siemens is really excited and is investing a lot of resources on top of the fund, and will deploy their scientists to every lab that will take on the technology,” Brosh said.
Siemens’ main commitment in the project is to also upgrade the software suite so that hospitals and labs can use the tech effectively.
NVision first sealed the partnership with Siemens before approaching the German government for the funds. The startup has secured a $17 million grant from the German Ministry of Education and Research, bringing its total funding to $42 million, with previous backers including Lauder Partners and Entrée Capital.
Most of the money will be used to run clinical trials in three tier-1 hospitals in Germany, with Siemens providing its own resources on top of the existing government funds.
The aim is to “add just a minute to a diagnostic test” with minimal additional costs or waste, said Brosh. Eventually, the startup plans to deploy its technology to cancer centres and hospitals globally, starting initially with Europe and the US, and then moving to Asia.
Check out the 18-slide deck used to secure the funds.