Toronto-based healthtech and artificial intelligence startup Perimeter Medical Imaging (PMI) has received a $10.4 million CAD ($7.44 million USD) grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). The company has also made two new additions to its leadership team and moved its headquarters outside of Canada.
PMI has appointed Tom Boon as the company’s new CEO and Jeremy Sobotta as CFO.
“The award will allow us to hire both clinical and technical expertise and conduct clinical research and trials.”
The CPRIT is a state agency that funds cancer research in Texas. PMI will use this grant to continue developing its AI technology that is aimed to help surgeons identify if cancer is still present post-tumour removal surgery and hire more expertise to conduct clinical research. PMI has also opened new headquarters in the Dallas-Fortworth region of Texas under the name Perimeter Medical Imaging AI.
“This CPRIT award is a significant and positive reinforcement to our company and will give us the opportunity to further advance our technology and perhaps be the initial push towards new applications in other areas of cancer,” said Andrew Berkeley, co-founder of PMI. “The award will allow us to hire both clinical and technical expertise and conduct clinical research and trials at internationally recognized cancer care centers throughout the state.”
PMI develops and commercializes surgical imaging tools that allow surgeons, radiologists, and pathologists to better assess microscopic tissue structures during a surgical procedure. The startup was founded in 2013.
New CEO Boon previously worked with medical device companies including Imaging Dynamics Company, Del Medical Systems Group, and Agfa Healthcare. Prior to joining PMI, he served as president of Summit Industries for nearly 10 years.
Sobotta has been a part of the deployment of over $4 billion in capital over his career in acquisitions. Prior to CFO of PMI, his most recent role was as head of finance for the Stryker business unit responsible for surgical equipment and women’s health. PMI said his background in finance in the medical devices industry made him an ideal fit, as the company expands its operations into new partnerships.
“I’m looking forward to establishing clinical trials in Texas and building the business operations for PMI in the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” said Boon. “Working with [Sobotta], along with our entire team in Toronto, will help us ensure successful clinical and commercial outcomes for our partners and future customers throughout the state, in a way that can truly advance healthcare outcomes for breast cancer patients.”
PMI received the CPRIT grant for its technology known as Otis, which provides real-time information during breast cancer surgery. The platform was designed to deliver ultra-high resolution and images across the surface of removed tissue, so surgeons can assess if they have achieved the successful removal of an entire tumour.
The first stage of a new three-year project will focus on training and testing the AI algorithms with data collected from four pathology labs in Texas. Specially installed Otis devices will then collect image data of breast tissue samples from patients to develop the software model using machine learning, which will then interpret the imaging data.
A multi-site study will be conducted during the second stage to test the new technology against the current standard of care and evaluate the impact on the re-operation rate for patients undergoing breast conservation surgery.
Image source Unsplash. Photo by Jafar Ahmed.