MICA AI Medical, an Israeli medtech startup that has developed a new technology for early detection of breast cancer, raised $3 million from investors, including Haim Chizic, Tzachi Arabov (ACRO Real Estate owners), Daniel Koss, BNP VC, and from the Israeli Innovation Authority and the Ministry of Economy. MICA says that its new tech offers a significan more accurate diagnosis using contrast-enhanced mammogram studies, with the aid of artificial intelligence and deep learning.
The chairman of the company is Jacob Perry, the former Israeli Minister of Science, Technology and Space.
Israel continues to be a center for the research and advancement of cancer treatments, both by medical researchers and private companies. Already in 2023, Novocure, an Israeli medtech company that develops and sells a treatment using electric fields for various types of cancer, revealed that a study of its LUNAR found “statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in overall survival over standard therapies alone.” And scientists from Israel’s Bar Ilan University made a new breakthrough in the treatment of breast cancer.
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MICA Medical system which is protected by several patents, was founded by Lior Wayn (CEO), a serial entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in managing and leading high-tech companies and startups mainly in the world of medicine; Lilia Leye Shwartzman (Director), who has more than twenty years of experience in managing and leading development teams in the world of banking, insurance and medicine ; Dr. Dov Tamarkin (Director), founder of the Israeli pharmaceutical company FOAMIX, which was listed on Nasdaq, and Dr. Roni Weitzen, a senior oncologist at Sheba Medical Center. The chairman of the company is Jacob Perry, the former Minister of Science, Technology and Space in the Israeli government. MICA Medical is now expanding fundraising in a crowdfunding campaign through the PipelBiz platform.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, with one in eight women being diagnosed with it during her lifetime. Every year, 2.5 million women are diagnosed with the disease. On the other hand, there is a global shortage of forty two thousand radiologists creates a delay in the diagnostic processes and may lead to significant misinterpretations, partially due to the daily number of images required by radiologists to analyze, as well as the innate difficulty in finding subtle abnormalities on the mammogram.
MICA Medical’s system aides radiologists to detect breast malignancies while interpreting contrast-enhanced mammograms. Additionally, it has the capacity to reduce overdiagnosis, which may lead to unnecessary biopsies and painful invasive biopsies. It was developed, tested and validated in collaboration with Sheba Hospital (one of the 10 bests hospitals in the world), and is currently being implemented at that hospital.
The system has a unique and first of its kind ability in the world to analyze findings also in a dense breast tissue, which is a common type of breast tissue, known to decrease the sensitivity of mammography (looks like a “fog” and makes interpretation difficult and lowers the efficiency of normal tests below 65%). Every year, more than 250 million mammograms are performed in the world, of which, approximately 100 million women who have been defined as having “dense breast issue”, may need to undergo additional testing, which the MICA system will likely be able to eliminate.
Even today, 99% of mammograms are still analyzed manually, which we believe is a less efficient and definitely more expensive. MICA’s system is designed to assist in the early detection of the disease and it does so through automatic risk analysis, image monitoring and unique medical databases in order to support the decision-making process of the radiologist at the time of interpretation of the mammogram. MICA integrates into the radiologist’s workflow intuitively and is compatible with all imaging systems in the world, without the need to change the radiologist’s workflow or special training. Additionally, it enables comparison between current mammography examinations with prior examinations which is a significant component of interpreting mammogram studies. The MICA system makes it possible to reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies by 40% and increase the accuracy rate for the detection of breast malignancies to 87%.
MICA has launched the platform in the Sheba Medical Center and Tel Aviv Ichilov hospital and plans to launch near future in the Beilinson Medical Center as well. Additionaly, MICA has signed an agreement with the Clalit HMO, the largest HMO in Israel. At the same time, MICA Medical is in the last stages of the US FDA approval process and additionally received a grant from the Ministry of Economy in Israel for the purpose of commercializing the technology in the USA