- Vara, a Berlin-based company that is on a mission to make breast cancer screening accessible around the world, announced it has raised a €6.5 million Series A round of funding led by OMERS Ventures
Vara, a Berlin-based company that is on a mission to make breast cancer screening accessible around the world, announced it has raised a €6.5 million Series A round of funding led by OMERS Ventures according to EU Startups. And Merantix, Think.Health, Soleria Capital, and Plug and Play also joined the round.
The World Health Organization pointed out that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women and 2.1 million women are diagnosed every year. So early detection is essential as stage 1 patients see a high survival rate, but stage 4 patients’ survival chances drops to below 15%. Often times, the process of analyzing mammograms is time-consuming since each study requires manual assessment.
Launched in 2016, Vara has developed a CE-certified machine learning platform, which makes it easier for radiologists to focus on detecting cancers in mammograms. Suspicious mammograms.
The company’s machine learning technology was trained with one of the world’s largest breast cancer data sets of 2.5 million images. And Vara’s technology has been implemented by leading screening providers across Europe.
“It is our mission to broaden access to breast cancer screening, with too many women around the world not able to receive critical examinations. In screening, 97% of mammograms are healthy, so the reality is that incredibly well-trained radiologists spend the majority of their time performing assembly-line work that is repetitive and time-consuming. Early detection of breast cancer is critical for survival rates, and by accurately ruling out normal mammograms we enable physicians to focus their attention on the women who need it the most. This results in fewer lives lost, and by streamlining the whole process, from detection to report-filing, even more women can get access to critical screenings,” said Vara CEO and co-founder Jonas Muff.
Including this round, Vara has raised €9.5 million. And the funding will be used to expand across Europe as well as utilize its data pools to improve financial and clinical outcomes for screening providers.
“Vara has developed a truly pioneering platform that can significantly improve the outcome for breast cancer patients and reinforces the value that AI can bring to the health sector. The company is addressing one of the biggest issues that radiologists face worldwide – the laborious processes that can prevent them from prioritizing those screening mammograms that appear to show suspicious results. Vara has built a world-class team who put their customers’ needs at the very core of what they do,” explained OMERS Ventures Associate Director Bryony Marshall.