“Expanding AI Technology in Human Oncology: The Mission of ImpriMed, a Revolutionary Dog Cancer Treatment”

ImpriMed, a California-based precision medicine startup, builds AI-powered dog cancer treatment technology that helps veterinarians identify the most suitable drugs for individual canine and feline blood cancers. The startup, which centers on improving treatment outcomes of dogs and cats with cancer first, now aims to expand its precision medicine technology for human oncology applications. “Also, the proven know-how acquired from developing AI algorithms in veterinary oncology streamlines the building of new predictive models in human oncology. For human precision oncology, its AI software for multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer, is in the process of approval, aiming to commercialize in 2025, Lim told TechCrunch. ImpriMed’s unique strength is “the ability to develop and incorporate AI models into the personalized medicine service workflow,” according to Lim.

ImpriMed, a California-based precision medicine startup, aims to revolutionize cancer treatment for dogs and cats with their AI-powered technology. Founded in 2017 by co-founders Sungwon Lim and Jamin Koo, ImpriMed focuses on enhancing treatment outcomes for canine and feline blood cancers. The ex-vivo live-cell technologies we developed for canine blood cancers are well-applied to the majority of types of human blood cancer as well as feline blood cancers, says CEO Sungwon Lim in an interview with TechCrunch.

With both co-founders holding PhD degrees from Stanford, after receiving undergraduate degrees from KAIST in South Korea, Lim’s previous experience in the cancer drug industry led him to question the efficiency of our current medical toolbox. He states, Are we efficiently utilizing all the tools we currently have in our medical toolbox? While searching for new and improved therapeutic options for cancer patients is crucial, Lim emphasizes the importance of using existing drugs to personalize treatment regimens for individuals. ImpriMed’s AI-powered personalized drug efficacy prediction service enables oncologists to identify effective anticancer medicines for patients before making a decision.

Recently closing a Series A round of $23 million, bringing their total raised to $35 million since their start, ImpriMed is gaining traction in the industry. Led by SoftBank Ventures Asia, the Series A round included investment from SK Telecom, HRZ Han River Partners, KDB Silicon Valley, Ignite Innovation Fund, Samyang Chemical Group, and Murex Partners.

ImpriMed has also partnered with SK Telecom, one of South Korea’s leading telecommunications companies, to utilize their AI-based veterinary X-ray image diagnosis technology called X-Caliber. Additionally, the company has graduated from the Mayo Clinic Platform Accelerate Program, using a large human patient database provided by the program to validate their AI models.

ImpriMed’s veterinary services are fully commercialized, offering five canine and three feline services and generating revenue. The startup boasts over 350 veterinarians in the US who have utilized their service. However, the company has bigger plans in mind. CEO Lim states, Our recent study demonstrates that ImpriMed’s AI correctly identifies effective lymphoma drugs for individual dogs with relapsed B-cell lymphoma, leading to a 4-fold higher complete response rate and a median survival time 3-fold longer than for those who received treatments that didn’t align with ImpriMed’s predictions, significantly improving treatment outcomes.

But ImpriMed’s journey doesn’t stop at veterinary medicine. The company is currently working on expanding their AI software for multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer, with the goal of commercializing it by 2025. They also offer a live-cell-based drug sensitivity test for pharmaceutical companies to measure the efficacy of new drug compounds on actual patients’ live cells.

Challenges ImpriMed is trying to solve:

  1. Treating lymphoma in dogs more effectively
  2. Personalizing treatment regimens for individual patients to reduce costs and side effects
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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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