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CHF 4 million financing round for medtech startup b‑rayZ

Photo: Mikael von Euw Opera­ting Part­ner & Invest­ment Commit­tee Member at Conver­gence Part­ners in Switzerland
13. July 2022

Zurich (Switz­er­land) — b‑rayZ AG, a spin-off of the Univer­sity Hospi­tal Zurich (USZ) based in Schlie­ren (Switz­er­land), has closed an over­sub­scri­bed Series A finan­cing round of over four million Swiss francs with leading inves­tors from the life scien­ces and IT sectors. The finan­cing round was led by Life­Care Part­ners, Prot­a­gon AG and Conver­gence Part­ners and suppor­ted by the Ecken­­stein-Geigy Foun­da­tion, the Swis­spre­neur asso­cia­tion and several private inves­tors. — Cancer diagnostics should thus be signi­fi­cantly impro­ved with AI technology.

Foun­ded in 2019 by Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Boss (senior physi­cian at USZ Radio­logy), Prof. Dr. Cris­tina Rossi (data analyst and MR physi­cist) and PD Dr. Alex­an­der Cirit­sis (AI medi­cal scien­tist and data analyst), b‑rayZ is deve­lo­ping a unique and revo­lu­tio­nary AI-based plat­form to assist radio­lo­gists in the early detec­tion of breast cancer. The b‑box system from b‑rayZ has a CE mark and is used commer­cially in leading breast centers in Europe. With the funds from the Series A round, b‑ray‑Z intends to expand distri­bu­tion in addi­tio­nal Euro­pean markets and achieve FDA appro­val for the United States. It also plans to deve­lop new products for gyne­co­lo­gists and radio­lo­gists based on its proprie­tary AI platform.

AI from b‑rayZ revo­lu­tio­ni­zes radio­lo­gi­cal diagnostics 

Low image quality and inade­quate diagno­sis in dense breast limit radio­lo­gists’ ability to diagnose breast cancer at a very early stage. b‑rayZ has deve­lo­ped an AI-based plat­form that supports the daily work of radio­lo­gists in mammo­gra­phy by asses­sing image quality and breast density in real time. Cris­tina Rossi, CEO and co-foun­­­der of b‑rayZ comments, “Our AI tech­no­logy helps to signi­fi­cantly improve the quality of breast cancer diagnostics by analy­zing mammo­grams in real time. The next genera­tion product enab­les auto­ma­tic detec­tion of early-stage lesi­ons on mammo­gra­phy and ultra­sound, which are often missed or misdia­gno­sed in breast cancer pati­ents. Our easy-to-imple­­ment AI plat­form is not only suita­ble for all imaging moda­li­ties in breast cancer, but also for all onco­logy appli­ca­ti­ons in radiology.”

Every 14 seconds, a pati­ent is diagno­sed with breast cancer

In 2020, more than 2.3 million women world­wide were diagno­sed with breast cancer and 685,000 of them died from it. “Every 14 seconds, a woman is diagno­sed with breast cancer some­where in the world. Since 2008, the global inci­dence of breast cancer has incre­a­sed by more than 20% and, regrett­ably, the morta­lity rate has incre­a­sed by 14%. With our plat­form, we can save thousands of lives through the earliest possi­ble diagno­sis and subse­quent support in the selec­tion of a perso­na­li­zed therapy,” Cris­tina Rossi conti­nued. The b‑rayZ system not only enab­les quality-control­­led mammo­gra­phy to signi­fi­cantly reduce late diagno­ses, but also saves more than 25% time in the process and nearly 50% of previous quality assurance costs. The effec­ti­ve­ness of b‑rayZ’s deep lear­ning algo­rithms in daily diagnostics has already been clini­cally proven with more than 35,000 pati­ents success­fully exami­ned by leading radiologists.

“When we met the team at b‑rayZ, we were immedia­tely won over by their exper­tise and tech­no­lo­gi­cal approach. The deve­lo­ped AI plat­form is suita­ble for rapid and cost-effec­­tive diagno­sis of a wide range of cancers. In addi­tion, we are abso­lutely fasci­na­ted by b‑rayZ’s unique capa­bi­li­ties to create a revo­lu­tio­nary virtual market­place for the exchange and preser­va­tion of radio­lo­gi­cal know­ledge and exper­tise. We are convin­ced of the long-term success of the b‑rayZ soft­ware plat­form as well as the highly expe­ri­en­ced and enthu­si­astic manage­ment team,” adds Dr. Gerhard Ries, Mana­ging Part­ner of Life­Care Part­ners.

“b‑rayZ is beco­m­ing an emer­ging leader in AI-powe­­red cancer diagnostics and work­flow SaaS. What sets the company apart from many compe­ti­tors is its deep clini­cal back­ground and exclu­sive access to high-quality data. The SaaS plat­form will enable impro­ved cancer care and help reduce the cost of diagno­sis and therapy,” added Mikael von Euw (photo © Conver­gence Part­ners), deal lead at Conver­gence Part­ners.
“We inves­ted in b‑rayZ because we believe the impor­t­ance of digi­tal health is growing globally, they have one of the best AI teams in the world, but also because they have such a deep under­stan­ding of radio­logy and the clini­cal vali­da­tion requi­red to usher in this new era of cancer diagno­sis,” explains Seve­rin Weiss, Chair­man and foun­der of Prot­a­gon AG.

About b‑rayZ

Incor­rect breast cancer diagno­ses due to human error harm pati­ents, expose physi­ci­ans to high liabi­lity risk, and incre­ase health­care costs. b‑rayZ is trans­forming breast cancer diagnostics with its breakthrough AI tech­no­logy for faster and better diagno­ses. b‑rayZ’s success is driven by a commit­ment to saving women’s lives through early breast cancer detec­tion. Every woman, ever­y­where. www.b‑rayz.ch.

About Conver­gence Part­ners AG

Conver­gence Part­ners AG (“Conver­gence”) is a Swiss Health­Tech venture capi­tal firm actively suppor­ting the inter­na­tio­na­liz­a­tion of its port­fo­lio compa­nies in the four largest health­care markets USA, China, India and Germany. Conver­gence, which has a presence in Switz­er­land, Germany, Spain and Hong Kong, was foun­ded in 2018 by expe­ri­en­ced health­care indus­try play­ers and venture capi­ta­lists with the aim of combi­ning tech­no­lo­gi­cal excel­lence in the EU with great inter­na­tio­nal scale-up and exit poten­tial. Conver­gence focu­ses on later-stage invest­ments in digi­tal health, medi­cal devices and diagnostics. Current major invest­ment themes include mental health, women’s health, and compu­ta­tio­nal biology. www.convergence-partners.ch.

About Life­Care Part­ners GmbH

Life­Care Part­ners is an inde­pen­dent invest­ment advi­sory firm that provi­des finan­cing to private and public life science compa­nies. Life­Care Part­ners addres­ses the entire life science indus­try with a special focus on medi­cal tech­no­logy, diagnostics, biophar­maceu­ti­cals, food and nutri­tion, indus­trial biotech­no­logy, bioma­te­ri­als, e‑health and bioen­ergy. The Life­Care Part­ners team, based in Basel, Switz­er­land, has success­fully inves­ted in more than 50 life science compa­nies in recent years, a large number of which are already listed on the stock exchange or have been acqui­red by leading life science compa­nies. www.lifecare.partners.

About Prot­a­gon AG

Prot­a­gon AG is an invest­ment company that focu­ses on seed and growth finan­cing. The digi­tal revo­lu­tion is chan­ging all indus­tries at a rapid pace and promi­ses solid returns with sustai­ned momen­tum for years to come. This under­pins Protagon’s belief that tradi­tio­nal compa­nies will conti­nue to be chal­len­ged by new digi­tal star­tups, with tech­no­logy compa­nies incre­a­singly taking the helm. www.protagongroup.com.

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