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”.
Jvion launches AI-powered map to tackle mental health crisis
Clinical AI company Jvion has launched an interactive map of the US that highlights areas that are most vulnerable to poor mental health.
The Behavioral Health Vulnerability Map uses Jvion's AI CORE™ software to analyse public data on social determinants of health (SDOH) and determine the vulnerability of every US Census block group.
Vulnerability refers to the likelihood that residents will experience issues like self-harm, suicide attempts or overdoses. The map also identifies the most influential social determinants in each region, to show the social and environmental conditions that contribute to mental illness.
As an example, the map shows that Harrison County in Mississippi has a 50% higher suicide rate than the rest of the state. It also shows a high percentage of individuals in the armed forces at a time when active duty suicides are at a six-year high, along with a high prevalence of coronary artery disease, arthritis, and COPD, all chronic illnesses that are linked to a higher suicide risk.
The map also shows Harrison County has a high percentage of Vietnamese Americans, who studies suggest have high rates of depression and may be less likely to seek help from mental health professionals.
The map was built using the same data and analytics that Jvion used to create the COVID Community Vulnerability Map, which was launched towards the start of the pandemic.
With this new map, Jvion is aiming to tackle the growing mental health crisis in the US. “At a time when so many Americans are struggling with their mental health, we’re proud to offer a tool that can help direct treatment resources to the communities that need it most,” said Dr John Showalter, MD, Jvion’s chief product officer, who led the development of the map.
“For too long, the healthcare industry has struggled to address social determinants of health, particularly in the context of behavioural health. Our hope is that by surfacing the social and environmental vulnerabilities of America’s communities, we can better coordinate our response to the underlying conditions that impact the health and wellbeing of people everywhere.”