Startup Spotlight: RefleXion Medical’s radiotherapy systems
Hayward, California-based therapeutic oncology firm RefleXion Medical is developing biology-guided radiotherapy treatments for cancer care.
RefleXion has raised over $320mn since its founding in 2009. Its latest Series D round, taking place last month, saw the company raise $100mn from lead investor PSP Investments, alongside Venrock, The Rise Fund, T. Rowe Price, Sofinnova Partners, Pfizer Venture Investments, KCK and Johnson & Johnson Innovation.
“RefleXion’s bold vision for the future of cancer care stands to completely reshape how physicians think about treating patients with stage 4 cancer,” said Loïc Julé, managing director, Global Investment Partnerships Portfolio, PSP Investments, in a press release. “This is exactly the mindset of companies we strive to build long-term relationships with. We are thrilled to support RefleXion during this next phase of their growth as they ramp up market and clinical adoption of this groundbreaking technology.”
The company’s RefleXion X1 machine uses biology-guided radiotherapy (BgRT) to treat tumours at all stages of cancer. The company says it is designed to overcome existing technological restrictions that limit radiotherapy to one or two tumours. It is also able to treat rapidly moving tumours caused by breathing or digestion. RefleXion’s machine recently won FDA approval for certain types of radiotherapy.
Todd Powell, President and CEO of RefleXion, said: “This new influx of capital continues our momentum initiated first by FDA clearance of the RefleXion™ X1 platform last month, then quickly followed by the close of our first system order at one of the world’s leading cancer centers.The support of this top-tier investment syndicate enables us to further scale operations around commercializing the X1 platform.
“Moreover, these funds allow us to validate the practical implications of using BgRT on a daily basis as we transform radiotherapy from early-stage cancer treatment to an option for patients with all stages of cancer”.
Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”