SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Mendel.ai announced it has raised $2 million in seed funding co-led by DCM Ventures and Bootstrap Labs with participation from Launch Capital, DeNa Strategic Investments and Advisors Fund’s Mark Goldstein. The company has developed a new artificial intelligence engine that enables doctors and patients to more quickly find the best diagnostic and treatment methods available for their patients’ medical conditions.
Initially focusing on connecting oncology and cancer patient populations with available clinical trials, the company is also announcing today its first integration with the Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center (CBCC) in Bakersfield, California. The integration and Mendel.ai’s artificial intelligence will allow the Center’s doctors to quickly and easily match their patients with available clinical trials in a matter of minutes -- a time and resource intensive process that currently takes days or weeks to complete. The process for uncovering the latest, available treatments can often mean a patient never receives the treatment needed to save their life.
“As a physician, I have lost patients and family members to terminal cancer diagnosis, only to learn later about clinical trials that could have saved their life,” says Dr. Karim Galil, founder of Mendel.ai. “Finding the right clinical trials can determine life or death for many cancer patients, but physicians just can’t humanly stay abreast of the thousands of available clinical trials. After realizing the terrible inefficiencies in recruitment procedures for clinical trials, we set out to fix what can potentially save millions of cancer patients.”
Mendel.ai has developed a sophisticated algorithm that understands the unstructured, natural language content within medical documents and is able to make exhaustive inferences without using pre-made, hard-coded rules – an undertaking that is too impractical for human experts to sustain over extended periods of time. Powered by a patient’s comprehensive medical record, rather than limited keywords, the search returns a fully personalized match and evaluates the patient’s eligibility for each suggested treatment. Mendel.ai has built a team of physicians to train the artificial intelligence with real patient data and work with hospitals and cancer genomics companies to improve and introduce Mendel.ai.
"Mendel is at the forefront of innovation in applying artificial intelligence to healthcare by matching cancer patients to clinical trials in a fraction of the time,” said Kyle Lui, principal at DCM Ventures. “Mendel represents a prime example of an ambitious startup leveraging the latest innovation in AI and natural language processing to benefit and improve healthcare."
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) reports that “the best management for any patient with cancer is a clinical trial.” With the growing number of medical research publications, it has become increasingly difficult for doctors to stay informed. A study by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reports that 39% of their patients were not matched to most promising investigational drugs after a mutation was identified “due to the lack awareness of the doctor.”
Doctors aren’t the only group that struggle to stay abreast of clinical trials. Most patients are completely overwhelmed and unprepared to find and apply to the clinical trials available to them. The path to enroll in a trial is complicated and difficult. A lung cancer patient, for example, might find 500 potential trials on www.clinicaltrials.gov, each of which have a unique, exhaustive list of eligibility criteria that must be read and assessed. As this pool of trials changes each week, it is humanly impossible to keep track of all good matches.
Mendel.ai is the breakthrough artificial intelligence engine and technology powering Mendel Health. Mendel Health is a for-profit corporation headquartered in San Francisco, CA that uses deep learning technology to sift through unstructured data in medical literature as well as patient health records, in order to suggest evidence-based treatment options and to continuously update the results whenever a new matching trial or treatment emerges. The company is currently focused on oncology and cancer patient populations. Please visit www.mendel.ai for more information about the company and technology.
About DCM Ventures
DCM Ventures is a global venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, Beijing, and Tokyo with more than $3 billion under management. DCM Ventures has invested in more than 300 early stage technology companies across the United States and Asia, and provides hands-on operational guidance and a global network of business and financial resources. DCM Ventures has backed industry leading companies including 51job, 51Talk, 58.com, About.com, BitAuto, Clearwire, Dangdang, eDreams, Fortinet, Happy Elements, Kakao Talk, Renren, Sling Media, Tuniu, and Vipshop. DCM Ventures has also invested in exciting, up and coming startups such as Bill.com, Careem, DerbySoft, DXY, Eaze, FiveStars, FreedomPop, Freee, FuboTV, Kuaishou, Musical.ly, Sansan, SoFi, SSqian, TanTan, Ucloud, and YouXinpai.