By 2030, new cancer cases are expected to rise to 22 million, marking a 70 percent increase from 14 million in 2012. With numbers like these, it’s no surprise the medical community is focusing on better, and earlier, diagnoses.
A new Israeli startup, Collage Medical Imaging, appears to be on the right track.
Founded in 2014 by two serial biotech entrepreneurs, Dr. Gavriel Iddan and Dr. Roni Zvuloni, experts in the field of medical devices, the startup has developed a high-resolution imaging technology to detect early-stage cancerous tumors, without the need for potentially dangerous biopsies.
How it works
Using a combination of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) or 3D imaging modality, electromagnetic technology, and Collage-patented technology, Collage Medical Imaging may be the first company making it possible to obtain microscopic information of an entire organ in real-time.
According to Dr. Zvuloni, the information collected is two hundred to three hundred times more efficient than a regular biopsy.
“Instead of taking a biopsy, we use an optic needle to get high-resolution optic images of the entire potentially affected area and its location,” Dr. Zevuloni tells NoCamels. The optic needle snaps pictures of the entire area, creating a collage – hence the name, Collage Medical Imaging.
A series of successful ventures
Dr. Zvuloni, who serves as the startup’s CEO, and Dr. Iddan both have a number of other notable achievements under their belt.
Dr. Iddan holds over 100 patents and publications to his name and had a hand in developing some of Israel’s most successful medical technologies. He is the brains behind the world-renown gastric video capsule pill, also known as the PillCam, which he developed while working for the medical tech company he co-founded, Given Imaging, in 1998. The company was acquired in 2014 by Covidien-Medtronic for $1 billion.
Iddan also developed the Solo MicroPump, a small, disposable insulin pump that allows diabetes patients to deliver insulin without needles or tubing, for Israeli medical devices company Medingo, sold in 2010 to Roche Switzerland for $200 million. 3DV Systems, a 3D imaging solutions company also co-founded by Dr. Iddan in 1997, was sold in 2009 to Microsoft for $35 million. And, Sync-Rx, a company that develops X where he served as CTO was acquired in 2012 by US medical devices company Volcano (now Philips) for $17 million
Dr. Zvuloni, a Yale University graduate, holds an impressive entrepreneurial record as VP of Galil Medical, sold to Israeli biopharmaceutical services company BTG for $110 million in 2016.
The company is in a pre-Series A investment round and Dr. Zvuloni estimates that the technology will be available in hospitals in roughly two years’ time, pending regulatory approvals.